Troy Bayliss claims he has two good reasons as to why he desperately wants to claim victory in the latest round of the World Superbike Championship at Donington Park.
Firstly, and most poignantly, 2008 will signal the final time Bayliss ever competes in Great Britain, a country where he has experienced considerable success over the years and still attracts a considerable fan base every year he competes.
Secondly though, Bayliss is determined to avenge his disastrous weekend at Donington Park last year when he crashed in race one and damaged his little finger. Together with his failure to participate in race two, it went a long way to denying him the 2007 title.
Nonetheless, the 'European' round of the championship occurs considerably later this season and it means Bayliss heads to the Leicestershire circuit as the champion-elect with an 82-point advantage over Max Neukirchner.
Naturally, Bayliss is eyeing a pair of victories this season to leave the Britain on a high, even if he admits Donington Park has never been one of his most successful circuits.
“I'm feeling really good after the break and am looking forward to what is to be my last Superbike visit to England,” he said. “Bearing that in mind, and after the disaster that was last year's Donington race weekend, I'm even more determined to put in a good performance this time around.
“I've never got the results I hoped for at this track, for whatever reason. However, with the race taking place much later than it did last year, we hope the weather might be kinder to us and of course the fans are always fantastic so all in all I'm pretty positive in thinking that we'll able to achieve some great results.”
Although Xerox Ducati team manager Davide Tardozzi earlier revealed to Crash.net
that a decision regarding 2009 riders will be made between the British rounds, no announcement has been made as of yet.
Even so, Michel Fabrizio remains favourite to retain his seat in the squad, even if he didn't aid his cause at Brands Hatch with a pair of lacklustre results. He is looking to make amends this weekend after the month-long break.
"The break definitely feels like it's been beneficial, giving me time to rest my arm, recuperate and get back in form ready for the final push. I hope to fair a lot better this weekend than I did before the holidays at Brands, as I was disappointed with my results there and frustrated that the pain in my arm was once again the main problem.
“I want to accumulate as many points as possible before the close of the season so I'm more focused than ever as we head back to the UK. After the wintry conditions we had at Donington early last year, let's cross our fingers that the weather there in September is a little better!"