World championship - stars turn out for Bayliss Classic

TROY Bayliss described the January 18 Troy Bayliss Classic to be held at the Old Bar Roadside Circuit as 'a world championship.'

Bayliss, a three-time Word Superbike champion and former Taree local, was trackside earlier this week for practice and media promotion for the classic, that will attract 36 top class riders, up from last January's 24.

"I can't wait,'' he said.

"It's come around fast. We had a good time last January apart from the rain and we're much better organised for next month.

"You can see the work that has gone on with the track. And we have 36 riders this time.

"It's international - we have guys coming from America, Japan and Europe - I'm calling it the world championship.''

The reason to increase the field to 36?

"I just like getting good riders here,'' Bayliss explained.

"The spectators love it. And we have a full grid of women this year and that'll be great. We also have the Evo class, which is guys riding the old bikes from the 1970s and 80s. People are going to love seeing them go around.''

Bayliss assured there's better organisation with the support classes.

He's been a semi-regular at his old home track during this year preparing for January 18. However, he said he isn't obsessed with winning the classic.

"In the end the fastest guy - whether he is an invited guy or not - will win the event,'' he said.

"I've been doing much more riding. But all I care is putting on a good event.

"If I get a good result then that's icing on the cake.''

Bayliss is now hoping for fine weather.

"I'd like to think we wouldn't be that unlucky again with the rain,'' he said.

"That's the only thing that gives me stress about the event and we have no control over it.''

Bayliss said organisation for the January 2014 classic started almost as soon as last January's program ended.

"I haven't really stopped,'' he admitted.

"I've been contacting riders but I've had so many more riders contact me as well wanting to race here. It's been great.''

He has no doubts that if the weather is right the crowd will at least equal last January's sell out.

"We'll pack it out,'' he said before heading off for some practice laps.

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