Ducati will support Troy Bayliss comeback
19 May 2010 10:07
Ducati will wholeheartedly support Troy Bayliss’s bid to make a dramatic return to the World Superbike championship in 2011.
Bayliss stunned the racing world earlier this month when he declared his intention to step out of retirement and return to World Superbikes next season – two years after he walked away from the sport.
The Aussie retired at the end of the 2008 campaign after clinching his third WSB crown to spend more time with his wife and three children.
But retirement has not sat well with Bayliss, who put all team bosses on red alert at the recent Monza round when he unveiled plans for a shock comeback.
The 2006 Valencia MotoGP winner though is synonymous with Ducati having won all of his world titles for the Bologna factory.
It is unthinkable to imagine him returning for a rival manufacturer, and Ducati boss Filippo Preziosi told MCN that if Bayliss did finalise plans for a 2011 return, all efforts would be made to accommodate the 41-year-old on an 1198.
“Of course we would be happy to listen to what Troy says and do our best to help him, “said Preziosi.
Bayliss impressed during a Mugello test session last week when he tried to give engineers crucial feedback on the factory 1198 that has struggled to make an impact in 2010.
Japanese rider Noriyuki Haga has endured a torrid season and trails series leader Leon Haslam by a whopping 116-points after just six rounds. And it was perhaps no coincidence that Bayliss’s comeback revelation sparked a sudden revival in Michel Fabrizio, who ended a dismal run with a victory in the first race in Kyalami last weekend.
Preziosi said the door was open for Bayliss to return, but Ducati would not exert any pressure on him.
He added: “My position is the same as 2008. At that time we were convinced that Troy could win again but his decision was not related to the technical or economic side, but it was a personal and family decision for him.
"We didn’t push him to try and convince him to stay and we won’t do it again. But of course we are more than linked with Troy and we will be happy for him to return with us.”
For more details on the future of Bayliss, see today's (19 May 2010) issue of MCN.