Oli Bayliss will make his World Supersport debut next month after securing a wildcard entry for the 2020 opener at Phillip Island.

Oli, son of triple World Superbike champion and MotoGP race-winner Troy Bayliss, will dovetail his maiden World Supersport outing with the opening round of the 2020 Australian Supersport championship.

The 16-year-old made his Supersport debut last year and ended his rookie campaign in fifth place in the riders’ championship.

Fresh from completing pre-season testing, Bayliss will use an upgraded engine for his Cube Racing Yamaha YZF-R6 for his World Supersport debut and is naturally relishing the opportunity.

“It’s going to be really tough with how fast them guys have been going over the years and it’s going to be a great opportunity to ride with some of the fastest guys in the world and see how I can place amongst them,” Oli Bayliss said.

“I will be doing double duties (ASBK and WorldSSP) so it’s going to be a big weekend and a bit of a challenge, I’m going to be training very hard coming up to that round to stay fit.

“When Dad was racing with World Superbikes I grew up around a lot of the mechanics, who are still around in the paddock now, they might help me a little bit, but the main thing is going out there and giving it my all.

“The difference between my ASBK bike and World Supersport bike is around 10 and 15 horsepower, it’s not much, but enough to go a second or two a lap quicker.

“Before World Supers I’ll be doing the Official Test at Phillip Island, which will be fun seeing how fast they can go around this track.”

With a famous father in support, the elder Bayliss anticipates strong home support at Phillip Island having secured six World Superbike race wins across his career at the Australia track.

But focusing on his son, Troy says he’ll find it nerve-racking to watch his son compete in two classes at the 2020 opener.

“His first year on a 600 in 2019 taught him a lot, not just about racing a bike, but communicating with the team, also learning what changes in settings to have on the bike on-track,” Troy said.

“He’s really improved a lot and I think the biggest challenge for the weekend will be for Kim (Bayliss) and myself, as we have to watch him on track twice as much.

“Right now, he really wants to do it, he’s enjoying his racing.

“It’s a difficult one for me, though, as when I ride with him on the track we have the best time ever, but when he’s on the track racing I feel like a really normal dad, as I get really nervous and I find it really difficult to actually watch him.

“It will be his first international race and he’s nervous and excited; it will be an experience and if he can grab a couple of points that will be even better.

“Wildcards have been really good for me in the past and it puts you in front of the world stage and you never know what can come out of it.”

The elder Bayliss had a habit of stunning on one-off rides having made headlines in 1997 with sixth place on debut in the 250cc Grand Prix race at Phillip Island, while he also notched up a pair of fifth places earlier in the year at the same circuit on his World Superbike wildcard debut.

But the Australian’s most memorable feat was his sole MotoGP victory when he stood in for Sete Gibernau at the 2006 final round in Valencia for Ducati. Earlier that year Bayliss sealed his second World Superbike title with the Italian manufacturer which led to his one-off Ducati MotoGP appearance.

 

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