TAREE’S Troy Bayliss will enter three events in this weekend’s Ausmulch Australian Dirt Track Championships to be held at the Old Bar Roadside Circuit.
Remarkably, the former three-time World Superbike champion doesn’t have an Australian title on his CV. He’s determined to change that over the next two days.
Bayliss has entered three classes - the pro 250, pro 450 and pro open. He was asked which was the one he thought he had the best chance of winning.
“All of them,’’ he replied with a grin.
Bayliss can’t recall if he’s ridden in a national dirt track championship before. If he has, it was a while ago.
“Yeah, maybe when I was a kid,’’ he said.
Bayliss started his racing career as a schoolboy and a member of the Taree club.
“But I’ve never won an Australian title in any discipline. I think I was third or fourth in the Australian road championships and that was a few years back,’’ he explained.
He rode at the Taree track with Paul Caslick early last month and he’s confident that he’s well enough prepared for this weekend.
“I’ve had a bit of success at Old Bar before and I’m looking forward to this weekend,’’ he said.
Bayliss won the Troy Bayliss Classic here last January just to underline that statement.
“The bikes are going well. I’m not saying I’m going to win them all, but I’m hoping to go alright.’’
However, Bayliss understands there’ll be plenty of challengers.
“I’m not sure if Michael Kirkness is racing or not - I’ve heard he has a broken wrist. But if he’s right he’ll be hard,’’ he forecast
“Hookey (Josh Hook) should also be up there. Luke Richards has ridden at Taree in the classic - he came fourth or fifth this year, and he’s another one. Paul Caslick’s had plenty of experience and he usually does well.
“But there’s plenty of riders there who are capable of winning. We should see some great racing over the two days and I hope we get good crowds there.’’
Bayliss expects to arrive in Taree today from his Gold Coast home.
He doesn’t know if riding at the national dirt track championships will be a one-off or whether he’ll be a regular in the years to come.
The fact that they are in Taree this year and the weekend fitted in with his busy schedule are the main reasons he’s starting.
“Like I said, I’ve never won an Australian title. I’d love to win my first at Taree,’’ he said.
Meanwhile he revealed planning has already started for the next Bayliss Classic in January. Bayliss said there had been considerable international interest in the event.
“It would be good to get a couple of guys from Europe over here,’’ he said.
“Even though it’s not until next January we’re getting a lot of inquiries.
“We’ll have a top class field here again for sure.’’