25 Years of World Superbike: Troy Bayliss

Wednesday, 22 February 2012 07:02 GMT
25 Years of World Superbike: Troy Bayliss

One man who has truly established himself as an all-time Superbike great since his series debut in 1997 is Troy Bayliss from Taree, NSW in Australia. Bayliss was something of a late starter, and he made his initial claim to fame in SBK racing, on a Suzuki as a wild card at Phillip Island in the mid-nineties.

For Bayliss, he is certain that showcasing himself well in the SBK races at home led to what would become much greater things. "I think honestly it was a very big help," said Bayliss. "I never won the Australian Superbike championship but finished second a couple of times. Even if you won the championship it did not mean you would get a ride overseas. So those wild card rides helped me and that is how I got noticed, basically. Always the top guys in domestic Superbike classes can be competitive at a world-class level. Then it is fine picking if you can actually win after that."

For Bayliss, Phillip Island is one of the great tracks, but it really did bring a unique pressure for him. "Phillip Island was always one of the hardest ones because I had so much more work to do, so many family and friends came there and so the whole thing was like a tough weekend! Sometimes the Aussies seem to pull out some great riders at their home track, but to race in the World Championship you have to be fast at every track. It was always good winning at Phillip Island but I felt just as much to win at Monza, Misano and anywhere else."

He is still enthusiastic about SBK racing, as his parting comment demonstrates. "Something that has always been in Superbike is the friendliness, the open pit and you can be a part of it. SBK has a good atmosphere and it is run by Italians. What I love about them, they are family oriented, friendly and the passion is very high."