Bayliss helping Ducati on 2012 Superbike

The Australian jokes that he could return to racing, but concedes he is merely helping Ducati with its Superbike development programme.
The bike that could spearhead Ducati's return to the World Superbike Championship will be developed by its three-time title winning rider Troy Bayliss, the man himself has revealed.

The 2001, 2006 and 2008 championship winning rider has maintained strong links with the Italian manufacturer since he hung up his helmet at the end of 2008, entertaining rumours of a possible racing comeback as recently as last year.

However, while he would go on to quash that speculation, Bayliss is still connected to Ducati's gathering Superbike project after confirming he has been drafted in to test the bike that could be raced in 2012 or 2013.

Though it isn't clear whether the factory team – which withdrew from WSBK at the end of the 2010 season – will return will a full effort or whether it will delegate responsibility to its customer outfits, Bayliss's role suggests Ducati is throwing substantial resources behind the much anticipated machine.

“It's my job to follow the testing phases of the new model,” Bayliss told “I can't reveal anything, but we are working hard to create a competitive bike that can win the championship again.

“I'll be a simple test rider and won't have any management roles. Riding a bike is what I do best, so this way I'm helping with the new team structure.”

Though Bayliss still isn't fully ruling out a return to racing in the future, he remains focused on his immediate job.

“You don't know how much I'd like it! I think about returning to racing every day, it's my greatest passion and the years that I raced were certainly fantastic It's a recurring thought, but I have my other commitments now and carry on with what I'm doing.”

Asked about his thoughts on the 2011 season, Bayliss identifies Carlos Checa and Max Biaggi as the early favourites, though he isn't discounting Yamaha either.

“It's too early to tell, but from the first race we noticed how determined Carlos Checa is. The team behind him is official and they have a good chance challenging for the title.

“Of course, Max Biaggi, who will try to defend his title with his teeth, but I was surprised by the Yamaha bikes who are really competitive this year and it's a great team with two great talents, Laverty and Melandri will certainly be front runners.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Fabrizio, Haslam, Crutchlow, Bayliss, Australian WSBK 2010
Bayliss, Australian WSBK 2010
Bayliss, Monza WSBK 2010
Ducati pack up for long haul, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati Panigale engine, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati Panigale bikes, Misano WSBK 2017
Xavi Fores, Barni Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Marco Melandri, Racing Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Marco Melandri, Racing Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Chaz Davies, Racing Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Hayden, AMA Superbike, SBK, 2002.
Hayden, AMA Superbike, SBK, 2002.
Hayden, AMA Superbike, SBK, 2002.
Hayden, AMA Superbike, SBK, 2002.

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KNOWFUKALL - Unregistered

March 09, 2011 10:17 AM

If this is'nt the foundations for Rossi's swan song, and what will be viewed in 5 or 6 years as one of the smartest marketing stratagies ever undertaken in the motorcycling industry - I will eat my hat

jimmy - Unregistered

March 09, 2011 11:12 AM

Nice speculations but Bayliss won't return in his 43 years of age and Rossi will compete in MotoGP for at least 4 or 5 years more. Bayliss is talking about winning the WSBK title again but it can become reality already this year with Carlos and Althea. 1198 is still a very competitive bike. Baylisstic should have never retired, racing is in his blood and we could see him compete against Spies in 2009 and Biaggi in 2010 (OMG!!!). WSBK is missing a major star today (I know Biaggi is a legend but he can't compete with Foggy and Bayliss in my eyes), Haga is probably definitely out and Corser is too old, Toseland has probably lost it too.

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