Troy Bayliss has hailed the bike that took him to the 52nd and final World Superbike win as 'the best' he has ridden throughout what has been an outstanding career.
Bayliss brought a historic time in bike racing to a close today in Portugal in the most convincing fashion – winning both races from pole position.
Although already confirmed as a three-time title winner back in France, the victories nonetheless bring his overall tally up to 52, 11 of which have come over this season's 28 races. It means he finishes the season with a huge 118 point advantage over second place Troy Corser.
Winning both races from almost lights-to-flag, Bayliss was comfortably the fastest rider throughout the day, but he singled out particular praise for the Ducati 1098 F08 in the second race as the best he has ever piloted.
"This was the perfect end to my racing career, to finish with pole and a double win, an absolute fantastic result. We had a dream start today. I was a little hesitant before Race 1 because none of us had done a lot of laps here so we weren't sure for the tyres but I think everyone was pretty much on the same rear.
“The gap behind me got bigger and bigger which surprised me but I heard that there was a big battle behind me which worked to my advantage. I was grateful for that lead though because by the end the rear was finished and Carlos was catching me. We changed a few things for the second race and I have to say that bike in Race 2 was the best bike I've ever ridden in my career.”
Bringing the curtain down on a superb career, Bayliss also had time to thank the Ducati team that helped him to a third world title this year, while he also saved a few words for his predecessor Michel Fabrizio, who takes his place next year.
“I've been doing this for many years and it was a long way to come but I got here, and now I'm at the end of my career. I have a great team behind me and I thank all of them and the sponsors because you can't do this without those guys.
“My career's come to an end; I've won the championship and finished my career in one piece so it's incredible really. I wish Michel lots of luck for next season and thanks to everyone who's supported me over the years."