Three-time World Superbike champion Troy Bayliss is set to launch his new-look DesmoSport Ducati team by entering Mike Jones as a wildcard at the 2016 WSBK season opener at Phillip Island.
Bayliss announced his retirement from racing last year after standing in as replacement rider for the injured Davide Giugliano at the factory Ducati squad at the Australian and Thailand rounds and has been working behind the scenes to launch his new DesmoSport Ducati squad which will compete in the Australian Superbike championship in 2016.
The ASBK season opener couples with the World Superbike curtain raiser at Phillip Island on the 26-28 February and Bayliss has confirmed his new rider Jones will enter the international series as a wildcard on a WSBK-specification Panigale.
The 46-year-old, who claimed the 2001, 2006 and 2008 WSBK titles all with Ducati, announced the news via his personal Facebook account and the team expect to break out at the final pre-season WSBK test next Monday and Tuesday (22-23 February). Jones has a frantic race weekend ahead of him by competing in both the national and international superbike races.
“This has all happened fast but I am excited for our team to roll into Phillip Island for the first round of Australian Superbikes and World Superbikes,” Bayliss said via his personal Facebook account. “Big thanks to all our partners, won't show you the bikes yet but they are sweet.”
Jones claimed the 2015 Australian Superbike title on Kawasaki machinery and has spent the off-season adapting to life on Italian bike.