It is a good thing that no-one in the factory Ducati team has a weak heart because if they did, they wouldn't last too long in the pit garage this year.
Emotions have gone from the highs of victory to the depths of despair and back again in a matter of months.

Last season, Carl Fogarty wrapped up the World Superbike title almost with ease, sending his fans into hysteria with the news that he would return to defend his crown in the year 2000. Indeed this season was supposed to be something of a golden summer for King Carl. Safe in the knowledge that he had a superb machine underneath him, Foggy could perhaps retire from the World scene with another championship and rightly be crowned one of the best riders in history.

However one damp day in April put paid to all that.

The broken arm that Carl suffered has effectively ruled him out for the season, although a possible return in the latter rounds is still possible. With the loss of their star man, Infodstrada was thrown into confusion. They had to salvage their season by replacing their own superstar with an unknown quantity.

That man could very well be Troy Bayliss.

Despite an inauspicious start at Sugo, the Australian earned another shot alongside Ben Bostrom in the Infostrada team at Monza. It was there that a smile returned to Davide Tardozzi's face for the 1999 British Superbike Champion proved that he could cut it in the WSB environment. Bayliss outclassed his highly rated American team-mate by a country mile and left Italy with a brace of fourth places to his name. If it wasn't the results that swung it for Ducati, it was the manner in which they were taken which convinced them that they had their man.

Bayliss was swiftly moved from his American Superbike ride with the satellite Ducati Vance & Hines squad and into the spotlight again at Hockenheim. It was at the vast German autodrome that Troy duly took his first WSB win with an epic ride in race one, finally Ducati could celebrate victory once again and the mood in the Infostrada camp was on the up.

However the latest rumours suggest that their happiness could be short-lived.

Murmurs inside the factory suggest that Infostrada could be replaced as Ducati's factory team within the next two seasons. It is believed that the British INS/GSE Ducati squad are being lined up as replacements for the Italian concern.

The British outfit guided Neil Hodgson to a thrilling victory in race two at Donington in what was a wild card ride. Hodgson showed that his team had all the talent of any works WSB squad while Infostrada struggled with Bostrom and Luca Cadalora unable to make an impression.

The rumours have intensified since the arrival of Troy Bayliss into the factory Ducati squad. The Australian has been handed a factory ride until the end of the season, regardless of whether Fogarty comes back to action. Bayliss spent two years in the British Superbike Championship with the INS/GSE squad and won the title last season. His performances have proved that the team trained him well while Bostrom, who rode for Vance & Hines last year, has failed to adapt to the world series as quickly. The American has now been placed in another satellite team, NCR, for the remainder of the season.

With Fogarty nearing the end of his career, Ducati are looking for another rider to fill the boots of the Blackburn legend. With his good working relationship with INS/GSE, the combination may be given the chance to shine on the world stage in the near future.