A subtle “see you soon” and the photo above from Troy Bayliss set the news on fire that the Australian will continue to ride for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike team, confirmed for the round in Thailand, and with rumors of Aragon and Assen.
The news continues the fanfare from Phillip Island — where Bayliss asked Ducati Corse to let him replace the injured Davide Giugliano, who crashed earlier in the week at the pre-season test, fracturing two vertebrae — giving Aussie fans a special treat at Bayliss’ home round, not mention a renewed buzz for the WSBK series in general, around the world.
While Ducati had perhaps more competitive riders to choose from, such as Michele Pirro and Xavi Forés, in continuing to replace Giugliano, the Italian racing squad chose the fan-favorite again in the 45-year-old retired World Champion.
It probably helps too that World Superbike engine rules play to Ducati’s favor if Bayliss continues to replace the injured Davide Giugliano, but imagine the fanfare with the previous story, and this one, is the result Ducati Corse was hoping to achieve.
“I’m really excited to be able to ride the Panigale R again and I thank the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team for the opportunity,” stated Bayliss. “It will be great to work with the team again.”
“Compared to the Phillip Island round, organised pretty much at the last minute, this time I’ve had the chance to train and prepare myself properly. I’m really motivated and feeling ready; I can’t wait to get back on track!”
As he made mention to, Bayliss did not have the best of results in his WSBK return, finishing 13th in Race 1 and 16th in Race 2, but the Aussie did show his ability to fight in the Top 10.
Tire management will be key for Bayliss going forward, though at the next few rounds he should be on a more even playing field with the competition, as he comes up to speed on the WSBK-spec Panigale, and the other riders don’t have the advantage of just testing at the race venue days before the race.
Regardless of results, we are pretty sure World Superbike fans around the world will be excited by the prospect of Bayliss racing another round (or three).
There is even some talk of a Misano wild card, which would see the three-time Ducati WSBK champion face-off with two-time Aprilia WSBK Champion Max Biaggi.
Source: Ducati Corse