Ducati chairman Gabriele Del Torchio has lauded new World Superbike Champion Troy Bayliss after he secured the manufacturer's 15th title in 18 attempts.
Consolidating their domination of the series, Bayliss has been a formidable competitor throughout the season, winning his ninth race of the season at Magny-Cours after prevailing in an enjoyable tussle with long-time sparring partner Noriyuki Haga.
Coming just two races before Bayliss hangs up his leathers for good, Del Torchio labelled the Aussie rider as an 'icon' of the Ducati brand, not least because the title signals a victory for the 1098 in its first season of competition,
"I am particularly happy and proud of this victory,” he said. “Exactly one year ago the MotoGP [title] win added a very important chapter to our history but this win demonstrates, for the fifteenth time, Ducati's supremacy in competitions for production bikes such as SBK.
“A triumph that confirms the success of the product that is the 1098, a winner in its debut year, and a point of reference not just on track but also from the commercial and design points of view.
“Troy is an icon of our brand, a true Ducatista, who demonstrates characteristics such as determination, intelligence, pride and competitiveness, bringing added value to our company and to our bikes. A rider that "never gives up", he is the public's favourite, it is impossible not to like him.
“He truly deserved to conclude his career triumphantly, with yet another win to add to the list, consolidating his position among the greats of motorcycling. Ducati owes a lot to Troy and he has always known how to repay the company, writing unforgettable pages of motorcycling history for us.
“Thanks again Troy, and a particular thanks also to the team, to Ducati Corse and all the Ducati employees who has each played their role to perfection to secure this fantastic result."
It was an opinion shared by Ducati general director Filippo Preziosi, who was particularly delighted to see Bayliss win a third title on three different bike.
"Today Troy has given Ducati Corse an unforgettable gift, having now won the World Superbike Championship on three different bikes - the 998, 999 and 1098.
“On behalf of everybody in Ducati Corse I send a warm embrace to a rider that will remain forever in our hearts. My compliments also go to Davide (Tardozzi), to Ernesto (Marinelli) and to the whole team for the great job they've done."