While an expert of the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on two wheels, Troy Bayliss will become a rookie all over again this weekend when he gets behind the wheel of a Paul Morris Motorsports-prepared Holden Commodore.
The multiple World Superbike champion will team up with Dean Fiore at the first endurance race of the 2009 V8 Supercar Series, the L&H 500, aiming to make the transition to four-wheel competition.
Since claiming his third WSBK title less than a year ago, Bayliss has made the successful switch from two to four wheels, having completed test days with TeamVodafone, Jack Daniels Racing and Paul Morris Motorsports. Bayliss then accepted an invitation to join Fiore for the L&H 500 at Phillip Island and the SuperCheap Auto 1000 at Bathurst's iconic Mount Panorama.
After spending time with the Triple F Racing team, and working on his fitness for the event, Bayliss said he feels prepared for L&H 500 and can't wait to get behind the wheel of the #12 Commodore, which will carry a striking blue-and-white Kitten Car Care Products livery for the endurance events.
“I've been training a lot to prepare my body for the race and, overall, I am feeling ready and really looking forward to the weekend,” Bayliss said, “While we haven't had any testing since last month, I have been using other methods to prepare for the event. The guys have sent me DVDs from last year's race and I've also spent some time with the team practicing our driver changes so, overall, I am feeling ready.”
Bayliss said that, while he will be a V8 Supercar rookie this weekend, he has a lot of experience at the circuit, which has delivered him much success during his illustrious motorcycle career.
“I've raced at Phillip Island a lot on a bike and, overall, I definitely think my knowledge of the track will come in handy this weekend as I have a lot to learn throughout the course of the event,” he concluded.
Fiore, who will also be making his endurance race debut at Phillip Island, said he is looking forward to racing alongside Bayliss, who he considers a true professional.
“Given that Troy is a three-time World Superbike champion, there is a lot I can learn from him,” Fiore said, “I'm looking forward to working alongside him and seeing how he approaches each race.”
Practice for the L&H 500 gets underway on Friday [11 September], and Bayliss will compete in one or other sprint race the following day, before sharing driving duties with Fiore in the 500km race on Sunday.