At the age of 48, three-time WSBK champion Troy Bayliss will make a full-time return to motorsport in 2018 as he bids to add the Australian Superbike title to his glittering CV.

Bayliss has tasted success pretty much everywhere he has raced, but it will be fascinating to see how he gets on at such a late stage in his career.

Do racers get better with age? The likes of Lewis Hamilton and Jonathan Rea are both at the peak of their powers in racing right now despite being well into their 30s, while Valentino Rossi remains a competitive force in MotoGP despite nearing 40.

We often see drivers racing at Le Mans that are into their 50s - or even 60s - so is age such a big deal in racing? When do drivers reach the peak of their powers? Have your say on in our debate of the day on the Crash forum.

Crash will be running forum debates every day during the winter in preparation for the 2018 season debating a range of topics and issues – but you can submit your own ideas here.


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They never lose the skill, reflexes may diminish slightly with age, but these aliens are so far ahead of us mere mortals, they never really slow down, until they're forced into a wheel chair.

Like wine, a good rider gets better, a bad rider gets worse.

I don’t think they necessarily get better it’s that they have an overwhelming amount of experience which added to their talent becomes a pretty potent mix. The likes of Hamilton, Rossi and Rea maybe even Bayliss are light years a head of the average rider or driver. 

In some was the answer is 'it depends'. As some of the others have said the experience is an advantage. 

Depending on thier injury history that can be a negative if the body is a bit knackered. From memory TB has not been too bad in that respect. There is also the mental side of things to consider. Somtimes older riders are not prepared to take that ultimate risk as times because they know only too well how much it hurts and how much hard work is involved in getting fit again after an injury.

In summary it depends on do the positives outweigh the negatives or vice versa? We will find out I guess. In any case I wish him well and hope he enjoys it!

If its true, Yamaha should immediately sign Agostini. He's 75 so he must be mega brilliant by now.

Ago would probably still be faster than Simeon ;)

Clearly a lot get better with experience - and it seems like some series let people carry on much longer. In single-seaters it does seem like there's a peak around late 20s/early 30s before a drop off but then you have Nick Heidfeld, Stephane Sarrazin, Andre Lotterer remaining competitive well after that - and younger drivers really struggling. It seems like the key thing is whether or not the driver's given up, which arguably someone like Kimi Raikkonen has - or indeed, mid-season, doomed Jolyon Palmer, much younger. 


Agree with the earlier comment about sharper reflexes playing a part.

Like to add in advances in medical care, plus different training techniques, which are bound to mean riders can continue longer than they could previously.

Also agree that it depends on who the rider is...

Didn't max biaggi the roman emperor win world SBK at 42 ?

Didn't michael schumaker make a come back in his 40's ?

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