Australian World Superbike fans are in for a very special treat this weekend, as Troy Bayliss is confirmed to be Davide Giugliano’s replacement at the WSBK season-opener at Phillip Island, after the Italian fractured two vertebrae during a crash earlier this week.
Ducati Corse initially did not plan to replace Giugliano at the Australian round, but instead the Italian company decided to fullfill every Aussie racing fan’s wet dream, and put the former WSBK Champion on the seat of the Ducati 1199 Panigale RS15.
The move comes after Troy Bayliss requested to ride at the Australian event, which is the 25th anniversary of World Superbikes at Phillip Island.
The move shouldn’t surprise as Bayliss has been making a second go at his racing career, at the ripe of age of 45, and the Aussie is heavily involved with flat track and is even competing in select AMA Pro Grand Nationals rounds this season.
Bayliss won the World Superbike Championship in 2001, 2006, and 2008, all with Ducati, the latter also being the last time Bayliss raced in the WSBK series. It will be a tall order for the Australian this weekend, but we think the local favorite will give some of these young guns a run for their money.
“I want to start by saying that I really feel for Davide and that it’s a real shame for his season to be starting in this way. The desire to be able to return to the track and see the home crowd and the Ducatisti has always been strong, ever since I last raced and then also Phillip Island, one of my favourite tracks, is celebrating its 25th anniversary of World Superbikes,” said Bayliss.
“This gave me the idea to compete as a wildcard and work with the Ducati Superbike technicians once again. I know it’s going to be a very difficult weekend, also because it’s a while since I’ve ridden the Superbike but I do know the track well and so hope to get back into it after a few laps. I’ll try to enjoy myself and will of course be doing my best to score a good result and put on a good show for the public,” he finished.
“I’m proud to know that it will be Troy to substitute for me this weekend,” said Davide Giugliano. “He’s a great champion and I’ve always admired him. I hope he gets on well with the set-up that my team and I have worked on in recent months.”
Source: Ducati Corse