Speaking at the pre-event press conference for Sunday's Australian Grand Prix, Troy Bayliss has ended growing speculation over his future by officially confirming that he and the Ducati Marlboro Team will part company at the end of this season.

"It's been a tough season for me and everybody at Ducati so to be leaving at the end of the season is like a final kick in the teeth," admitted Bayliss, who won the World Superbike series with the Italian factory before stepping up to MotoGP and scoring three podiums last season.

"I've been riding a long time with Ducati and it would be a different story if the bike had been winning every weekend but it hasn't been doing that so," he added. "I didn't want the relationship to end because I don't feel as though I've really shown what I can do in MotoGP yet, but that's racing and you've got to take it on the chin.

"It doesn't mean I'll be cruising around for the last two races though. I want to continue to improve the bike and do as well as I possibly can in my home round," Bayliss declared.

The hard charging Australian also stated his desire to remain in the premier GP class next season:

"I would like to stay in MotoGP because I don't think I've shown what I can do and time will tell," he said. "It's a bit unclear at the moment how it's going to turn out but I'm sure that in the next week or two weeks things are going to unfold for me and for a lot of other people as well."

Yamaha's Carlos Checa, Suzuki's John Hopkins and even Honda's Sete Gibernau have all been linked to the second factory Ducati ride, alongside Loris Capirossi, next season. Checa and Hopkins look the most likely.

Troy's current options are thought to include taking Hopper's vacant Suzuki seat, should the Anglo-American move, or a possible berth at a satellite Yamaha or Honda outfit.

Outside of MotoGP, Bayliss would be certain of a top ride in any Superbike championship he chose to enter.