Bayliss: The Return II
With a second round to compete in after his surprise WSB return at Phillip Island with the official Aruba.it Racing Ducati squad, Troy Bayliss feels he is even more prepared for the challenge of racing against the best Superbike riders of the current generation in a real contest for championship points.
Speaking before the first ever Thailand round of WSB Bayliss said, “I can’t wait for Thailand now and I have been training pretty good. I always do a little bit of training but now I am spec-ing it back up to a little bit more like what I used to do. I am in reasonably good shape and I have been doing a bit of Supermotard as well, but I am not going overboard. I did not feel bad on the bike at PI.”
Given this higher level of readiness, and a working understanding of his official Panigale 1199 over race distance, Bayliss may have every right to have some higher expectations this time around.
“I would say, confidently, that there is no reason why I should not finish inside the top ten but I expect to do better than that,” said Bayliss after being asked where he hopes to finish next weekend - if practice and qualifying all go to plan.
For Bayliss the thing that has most impressed many people about his return to action – doing it at almost 46 years of age – is actually not a great motivating factor for the man himself.
“A lot of people have said ‘I am so happy because it makes us old people feel like we can still do something.’ I have got that a lot. I am not looking at it as some old guy coming in trying to beat the young, guys, it is not about that at all.”
One possible advantage Bayliss may have at this round is that none of his rivals will have any previous experience of the Chang International Circuit at Buriram, as opposed to having a full winter of testing and then two days of official track time at PI shortly before the opening race weekend.