Triple World Superbike champion Troy Bayliss looks on the verge of a new career in V8 Supercar racing after an impressive test at Queensland Raceway in Australia on Thursday.

Bayliss, who retired from motorcycle racing at the end of last season, completed over 80 laps in Craig Lowndes' 2009 Team Vodafone car - which weighs 1450kg, boasts over 600hp, and offers extreme braking forces and high corner grip.

A sighting lap with Lowndes in the passenger seat allowed Bayliss to become familiar with the circuit and its unique bumpy sections, before Troy's legendary competitive instinct took over.

Bayliss was relentless in his pursuit of lower lap times; his braking became more confident while his throttle application was measured and smooth, helping to maintain traction out of each of the seven corners.

After each five-lap run the MotoGP race winner returned to the pits for feedback from engineer Jeremy Moore while sharing his own thoughts.

By the end of the day, Bayliss had set a best lap time less than half a second shy of the mark set by triple V8 Supercar champion Lowndes.

"That was a dream come true," Bayliss admitted. "I have been a huge fan of V8 Supercars for a long time and to finally get some laps in one felt amazing.

"A lot of the on-track principals transfer between the bike and the car and once the excitement of the first few laps wore off I felt like I was back at the office trying to perfect my corners and reduce my lap times.

"I can't thank Team Vodafone enough, they have been fantastic and extremely patient with me as I worked my way through today's sessions."

Bayliss, who recently tested a Ducati MotoGP bike, was already considering a new career in V8 Supercars - and immediately stated his intention to return to the cockpit as soon as possible.

"I can honestly say I have the bug, I definitely want to do more laps and try and get out there in either the Development Series or the endurance races," Bayliss confirmed.

Team Vodafone principal Roland Dane said Thursday's evaluation showed the WSBK champion's natural aptitude for all forms of motorsport - and believes Bayliss is already capable of 'mid grid' performances.

"Troy has really hit the ground running, he is the consummate professional," said Dane. "He is used to working in the top league of European motorsport, therefore there is nothing more we can teach him about procedures.

"He has fitted in with our team very well and is straight on the money lap time wise. If he raced at Willowbank tomorrow in our category he would be mid grid immediately.

"There are probably a few drivers in the championship that will need to watch their backs now," Dane acknowledged.

Seven-times World Surfing Champion Layne Beachley also took part in the test, completing 20-laps in Lowndes' Supercar.


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