Troy Bayliss

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Troy Bayliss is a motorcycle racer, born at Taree in Australia in 1969. He has won the World Superbike championship, as well as the British Superbike series.

Early career

Troy showed much promise as a youngster in the sport, however when he entered his teens his enthusiasm for racing waned. He started a job as a spraypainter at Joe Berry's and commuted to work by bicycle. It was on his daily commute that Troy would pass a dealership and finally was tempted enough to purchase a ZXR 750 on a loan. Troy won the first race he entered on the bike and performed well in subsequent events, so much so that, despite the financial risk he was taking, decided to race in the Australian Supersport championship. Finishing as runner-up in the Australian supersport championship in 1995 before moving up to the Australian Superbikes series the next year, finishing 3rd that year and 2nd in 1997. It was in 1997 that his break came. He was entered as a wildcard for the 1997 Australian 250 Grand Prix riding for the Dutch Arie Molenaar Suzuki team. On a significantly underpowered machine compared to his competitors, Troy finished in 6th despite exiting the final corner in 3rd place, such was the lack of power of his machine. Troy was offered a ride in the British championship the next year, winning it in style in 1999.

WSBK Part 1

He started 2000 in the US's American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) series, but was called into WSBK when Carl Fogarty was injured at Philip Island. Despite having a shocking start at his first race in Sugo and missing the first 3 rounds he was an eventual race winner. 2001 saw him win the championship against Honda rider Colin Edwards, and he started 2002 in dominant form breaking the record (at the time) for most race wins in a season, but Edwards thanks to his consistency in usually minimising the points lost when Bayliss won by finishing second overturned the advantage, winning his second title at a thrilling final round in Imola despite Troy crossing the line first in race one losing on aggregate due to the first part of race one being red flagged because of an oil leak by Peter Goddard's Benelli. Incidentally, Peter Goddard vacated his seat on the Suzuki superbike in the Australian series in 1997 and recommended Troy for his position. In retrospect, the 2002 season had been lost partially due to mishaps created by his own team. Troy was injured at Brands Hatch when colliding with his teammate Ruben Xaus, whilst Xaus was swerving to bring heat into his tyres, and after the Laguna Seca round, Ducati changed the frame. This frame change would prove costly as Troy consistently complained that the bike didn't feel like the same machine he had been riding all season previous, it was only at the final round in Imola that the team reverted back to the original frame, needless to say that Troy was very competitive all weekend and with Colin provided one of the most enthralling motorcycle races ever witnessed.


Both Troy and Colin moved to MotoGP in 2003, and it was Bayliss who was initially more successful. In Ducati's first season in the class their bike was highly competitive, with Troy taking 3 third places and finishing 6th overall in the championship. He briefly led at Philip Island, Brno and Welkom, and only narrowly losing the rookie of the year race to Nicky Hayden. Team-mate Loris Capirossi took their first win at the Circuit de Catalunya.

2004 was a difficult year for the team however, with Troy only 14th in the standings. Despite (or perhaps due to) its prodigious straight-line speed the bike didn't handle well, with Troy often over-riding and crashing frequently, this led to Troy's subsequent sacking from the factory Ducati squad, a part of which Troy had been for five years previous. This move was considered an unpopular one by many, considering that neither Troy nor Loris were able to perform as well as they had the previous year.

According to some, confirmation that Troy's sacking was influenced by sponsorship pressure rather than any performance based reasons was seen in the appointment of Carlos Checa as Troy's replacement. However, Troy is much older than Loris, and had not been as close to him in 2004 as he had in 2003, so some questioned whether he had any more to offer the team.

However, good results near the end of the season earned him a ride with Sito Pons' Camel Honda team for 2005, but was not a frontrunner, despite promising speed shown in his first tests on the 2004 machine and Alex Barros winning in Portugal. A severely broken arm meant that Troy was unable to compete in the final 6 races, had he done so, the season ending Valencia GP would have been his 50th Grand Prix appearance. Troy did give an insight as to his inability to crack into the upper echelons of Grand Prix racing, describing the Honda Motogp bike and MotoGP bikes in general as too inflexible, rigid, and like a 250 for his style

WSBK Part 2

The likeable Australian's 2006 prospects now lie in World Superbike's with his old factory Ducati team.

His pre season form in testing for the 2006 WSBK championship has shown much promise, with Troy topping the timesheets at both Qatar and Valencia. Even more remarkable is the fact that both he and Troy Corser were lapping faster at Qatar than many MotoGP contenders from the previous season. Troy's good form, the defection of former GP stars to SBK and the looming capacity change in MotoGP has certainly contributed to the re-emergence of WSBK once again as a contender for the title of the Premier Motorcycle racing category.

Troy has since started the 2006 WSBK in dominant fashion, leading the points table after the first 5 rounds with seven race wins (all of which are consecutive) out of ten and consistent podium results.

His form continued to the point that he went into round 10 at Lausitzring with a chance of clinching the title with 3 rounds to go. A fall in race one prevented this, but he only requires a 4th place in any of the final 4 races to seal the title. Bayliss duly won the title at Imola, in race 1 with a 5th place. He won race 2, to cement the title.