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Q&A: Troy Bayliss
21 March 2002
Troy Bayliss, after his wins at Valencia at the start to the World Superbike championship, is looking good as he heads to his home race at Philip Island.
Troy Bayliss was born on March 30th 1969 in Taree (Australia). Last year, he became the second Australian to be crowned World Superbike Champion after Troy Corser's 1996 title on a Ducati-Michelin.
In 1999, Bayliss won the British Superbike Championship on a GSE Ducati. The following year, he put a Vance & Hines Ducati on the Daytona 200 pole.
He was then called upon to sit in for injured World Superbike legend Carl Fogarty and nabbed the 2001 title with six wins: Monza (2), Lausitzring, Misano and Assen (2).
Here he answers the questions.
Troy, your international career started on October 5th 1997, when you finished 6th in the 250cc GP at Phillip Island on a Suzuki…
I thought that could be the start of it because many people were very interested. I did a good result for that weekend and a lot of people were very surprised. So we spoke to many teams, and there were a lot teams I could have had a ride with. But I had to bring some money and for me it was impossible. We tried to raise some money in Australia but we couldn't. So for sure if I was Spanish or Italian I would have been in GPs in 98… but no. And then I got a call from GSE in England and moved our family to England. That's when my career really took off.
Why are there so many good Australian riders?
We have the room to ride bikes. It's a little bit similar to Spain in a way, like a lot of riders come from a farm where they ride at a very young age. Now you see many Australian riders in Superbike, Supersport, GPs, motocross, enduro, speedway in England. When we decide to leave Australia, we give it everything we have to make a job in Europe.
Did you start racing young?
I did race when I was young, like I did minibikes. I did motocross and I stopped when I was 14 or 15. It was a strange time, we moved to the coast where there is not as much room. So the bikes just stopped and I did just school, like a normal teenager. And then I took a job at the end of school. When I was 23, I bought a Kawasaki ZXR 750 and after a few weeks I decided I wanted to go to a club race. That's how I started, when I was 23.
What is your relationship with Ducati like?
I started racing a Ducati privately for GSE in 98 and for the factory team halfway through the 2000 season. I think I've been lucky because all the teams I've been working with are very good people I've always had a good relationship with my team. Now I am very happy because we have a great time together even if the language is a little bit difficult.
What are your thoughts on Michelin tyres?
I started to ride on Michelins half way through the 2000 season. My previous career was all done on Dunlops so when I first used Michelins I was very careful because it's something different. And then by the start of 2001 I was very happy and now I am very happy and very comfortable with Michelin. I think they suit me quite well. They are the best tyres".
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