Troy Bayliss Classic sorts the men from the MotoGP boys
The inaugural Troy Bayliss flat-track classic brought together many of the biggest names in two-wheeled motorsport from Australia and overseas for a truly unique event.
It wasn’t designed to prove MotoGP riders are second best when it comes to a real man’s form of racing, but that’s how it turned out, with no blue-riband-class rider featuring in the top ten.
Held in Bayliss’ home town of Taree, some 300km north of Sydney on January 19, the meet attracted an enthusiastic crowd of over 5000 to witness a talent-rich racing line-up to the ‘Old Bar’ flat track.
The roll-call included 3x World Speedway champ Jason Crump, Chris Vermeulen, Garry McCoy, Randy DePuniet, Josh Brookes, Broc Parkes, Damien Cudlin, former AMA Supermoto champ Troy Hefross joining Bayliss and a ‘who’s- who’ of Australian stars from all racing disciplines and eras.
With 7-world championships and over a 100 Australian titles it was always going to be a great days racing and a testament to the evergreen popularity and enthusiasm of Bayliss.
The 500m (1640ft) oil-based track provided a great leveller, however the unique surface became super-slick when the mornings’ racing was lost to a constant light rain.
Fans were kept entertained by World freestyle Trials champion Jack Field and stunt riders Lukey Luke and Mike Brasher as the organiser hastily juggled the schedule.
Once the heavens cleared around 2pm the racing heated-up with several enthralling rounds culminating in the evening’s 12-lap ‘Legends and All-star’ feature race held under lights, that was red-flagged after Bayliss slipped-off on the first lap eliciting a restart.
Upon resumption the slick track and stiff competition saw further carnage. however local-star and AMA Pro flat-tracker Michael Kirkness rode clear to claim an emphatic win over Troy Herfoss with local wildcard Jarryd Oram in third.
Bayliss came in fourth and joined all present full of enthusiasm for the event; “After the rain this morning honestly I just wanted to go and hide, but it’s really come together and I couldn’t be happier” commented a relieved Bayliss.
“It’s been a great success I think so we have the trophy here with heaps of tags on it as it’s definitely going to be an annual event and can only get bigger and better.”
1. Michael Kirkness (AMA Pro Flat Track)
2. Troy Herfossa (German Superbike)
3. Jarryd Oram (Australian Flat Track)
4. Troy Bayliss (WSB/MotoGP)
5. Paul Caslick (Australian Flat Track)
6. Broc Parkes (WSS)
7. Jamie Stauffer (Australian Superbike)
8. Damian Cudlin (World Endurance)
9. Josh Waters (Australian Superbike)
10. Josh Brookes (BSB)
DNF – Chris Vermeulen (MotoGP), Josh Hook (Australian Supersport)