Troy Bayliss escaped injury after a heavy high-side in FP4 as the World Superbike legend qualified in 13th place on his return to the series at Phillip Island.

Bayliss, who is standing in for the injured Davide Giugliano in the Ducati team, set a fastest lap of 1m 32.201s after failing to progress to Superpole 2 and was reasonably satisfied with his progress.

"Today was certainly an improvement over yesterday. I've had time to get some good laps in and felt a lot better on the bike," he said.

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"I did have a crash in the free practice, it was a big high-side but I landed ok and was fortunately unhurt.

"I was a little disappointed to not have the chance to participate in the shoot-out but I'm still happy because I haven't used the qualifying tyre for such a long time, and you need time to build confidence with those tyres," Bayliss added.

"I'm confident that we'll be able to make further improvement tomorrow. The high temperatures forecast for tomorrow will definitely be a factor but it's the same for everyone so we'll just have to see what we can do."

Bayliss was promoted a place on the grid when Tati Mercado was penalised for a infringement of the rules, using two qualifying tyres in Superpole 1 instead of one. The Barni Ducati rider was forced to start the race from the back of the grid as a result.