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Bayliss confirmed as Ducati pace setter
15 June 2010
Despite declaring his intentions not to return to World Superbike competition in the near future, Troy Bayliss still came away from his one-off test at Misano quicker than his Ducati Xerox counterparts.
The Australian was making his second appearance on the bike this year, following a test at Mugello, after being invited to ride the 1198 at 'World Ducati Week' alongside a handful of other Ducati riders.
Raising speculation that Bayliss was seeking a way back into the series having retired as champion at the end of 2008, although comments during the event firmly dismissed those rumours, he still topped the timesheets ahead of Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio.
Overcoming sweltering conditions, Bayliss' best time from the test was a 1min 35.6secs, compared to Fabrizio's 1min 36.0sec and Haga's 1min 36.4secs. For reference, Jakub Smrz's pole position at Misano in 2009 was a 1min 35.4secs.
“The testing's gone really well and with more time on track the times improved quite a bit this. I'm happy with how it all went and hope my feedback can help Nori and Michel, but I'm also tired because we've had a lot to do during this edition of WDW, both on and off track!
“As I said during the WDW press conference, I have made up my mind and I won't be coming back to the racing but I will undertake one more Superbike test later this year, just before the Imola SBK round, as agreed with Ducati at the start of the season.”
Haga, who gave his ailing season a boost with a podium finish last time out at Miller Motorsports Park, was also satisfied with the progress made.
“It's definitely been a useful test session, even though it was very hot! I enjoyed WDW, my first as a Ducati factory rider, but today we got the real work done, and I'm feeling more confident about the next Misano race.
“We tested the new tyre and we made various modifications to my bike through the day. All in all I think we can say it was a very positive test. Now we go home for a few days and then we are back here for the race!”
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