Let’s face it: On Sunday February 22, we all had tissues ready to wipe away tears if Troy Bayliss somehow managed to finish on the podium at Phillip Island, the opening round of the 2015 FIM Superbike World Championship. But it didn’t work out that way, unfortunately.
Now, though, Bayliss has announced that he will be on the factory Ducati 1199 Panigale at the totally new and unknown Chang International Circuit in Thailand, for the March 22 second round of the Superbike World Championship. As Bayliss himself commented: “I’m really excited to be able to ride the Panigale R again and I thank the Aruba-Ducati Superbike Team for the opportunity. It will be great to work with the team again. Compared to the Phillip Island round, organized 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!”
Indeed, Phillip Island was a too hastily arranged return to racing, and the crash that occurred on the first day didn’t help. Given the additional recovery time needed for factory rider Davide Giugliano, the Ducati team gave Troy a second opportunity, knowing full well that Bayliss is a dedicated professional who is very serious about meeting the team’s expectations.
I’m keeping the tissues handy just in case.