Oli Bayliss, son of Ducati legend Troy, has been officially confirmed as joining Barni Racing for the revamped 2022 World Supersport Championship.
The class is currently dominated by 600cc four-cylinders from Yamaha and Kawasaki, but is being opened up to bigger capacity bikes using a system of performance balancing.
18-year-old Bayliss will campaign the 955cc Ducati Panigale V2, 20 years after his father's first World Superbike title for the factory. Troy's 2001 triumph was followed by further WorldSBK crowns in 2006 and 2008, plus a MotoGP race win at Valencia 2006.
"Oliver grew up in the racing world, 2021 was his first year on a Ducati V4 R in ASBK and he immediately took a win in Darwin at the beginning of 2021," Troy said. "Success came sooner than we could wait and I think the move to the Barni Racing Team is a great opportunity. I hope he can have as much fun with the twin-cylinder Ducati as I enjoyed."
"We are really happy that Oli can make his debut in the 2022 Supersport World Championship with the new Panigale V2 and the Barni Racing Team!" added Ducati Corse sporting director Paolo Ciabatti. "The Bayliss family has always been very close to Ducati and, just in recent months, we presented the special V2 Bayliss Replica version to celebrate Troy's first world title won 20 years ago. Now the tradition continues with Oli, and we are very happy."
Bayliss makes the move to Europe after competing in the Australian Superbike championship on a Panigale V4 R, where he is currently fifth in the standings.
"I am really happy to announce that I will race with the Barni Racing Team in the Supersport World Championship with a Ducati Panigale V2," Oli said. "I have completed my schooling, this means that I can fully concentrate on my career on the bike, on training and only on that."
The teenager will be Barni's only Supersport rider but the team will also run 20-year-old Luca Bernardi in WorldSBK.
"In 2022 we want to focus on young people and identify talents who can make a stretch of road with us to be, in the future, the new Supersport and Superbike champions," said team principal Marco Barnabò.
"For this reason, when there was the possibility of letting Oliver race in Supersport, in agreement with Ducati, we decided to take the opportunity. Luca Bernardi is 20 years old, Oli 18, we have never had such a young team and I think this was the right time for such a choice.
"For the first time we will manage two bikes in two categories and at the beginning we will not have to think about the results, but only about the growth path of these two guys.
"We were the first team to believe in the project to bring Ducati back to Supersport with the Panigale V2 and to see all the interest that there is now around this bike and this championship fills us with pride."