FOR a retired bike rider Troy Bayliss has a remarkably busy schedule.
The former World Superbike champion was back at his home town practicing at the Old Bar Roadside Circuit with his 11-year-old son, Oliver.
Bayliss will be racing at Gunnedah soon in the Australian dirt track championship. It was in this event held at the Old Bar Roadside Circuit last year that Bayliss won three championships - the first time in his stellar career that he’s taken out a national title. He’ll be defending all three in Gunnedah.
Bayliss, 46, will be back at the Old Bar track on August 29-30 for the Australian long track titles. His company, Troy Bayliss Events, will be the major sponsor.
“There’s plenty coming up,’’ he said enthusiastically.
He promises the long track titles will be a great event for riders and spectators.
“I hope we get a big crowd here,’’ he said.
“The standard of riding will be just like the (Troy Bayliss) Classic, except we won’t have the Americans here.
“There’ll be a lot of good racing.’’
Bayliss flew to America yesterday in preparation for his debut in the Grand National Miles. This is a five series event, with Bayliss to contest the first two before heading home. He’ll be back for the last three in September.
“That’s pretty big over there,’’ he assured.
“I’ll be riding for Lloyd Brothers Motorsport. They race for Ducati. so I’ll be racing an 1100 Ducati on the mile circuit. It’s fast on the dirt, I’ll be getting speeds like 230 or 240. It’ll be a bit of an eye opener for me.’’
Bayliss said he has ‘a few contacts’ in America through the Troy Bayliss Classic and that’s how the offer came to ride in the GNM.
“They ride for Ducati and I thought about going to do it, then Ducati North America got behind it along with a few other people.
“Now we’re hoping to go over there and do well.’’
Bayliss will head to Springfield and then Sacramento for the opening rounds, then back to Springfield in September.
He’s looking forward to his title defence in Gunnedah.
“That’s good because it’s another circuit with a surface like Old Bar,’’ Bayliss explained.
The reason Bayliss was home was to practice at the Old Bar track with Oli as part of their preparation for Gunnedah.
“Oli can go around the track and see what he needs to do.’’
Bayliss doesn’t have the No 1 plate for the long track championships at Old Bar.
“But I’m looking forward to taking it in the 450 and the unlimited,’’ he added.
“We also have the Super moto championships coming up in Newcastle. That’s in June so that’s another one we’ll go and have a crack at.’’
He hasn’t totally mapped out the rest of his year yet.
“There’ll be something in Asia later in the year that’ll do,’’ he said in a matter-of-fact way.
However, Bayliss confirmed he has retired.
“From road racing,’’ he explained, with a smile.
TROY Bayliss won three World Superbike championships, retiring after his third victory in 2008.
However, he made a shock and brief return to the event this year. Bayliss said it's unlikely he'll do that again.
He rode as a replacement for the injured Davide Giugliano in the opening two rounds at Phillip Island and Thailand.
"It's funny how all that spun around when Davide was injured. It was a good thing to do but I don't think it will happen again,'' Bayliss explained.
He added that his brief comeback made him realise why he stepped out of the superbikes in 2008.
"To come back seven years later without much riding, I thought, wow, why would you do that?''
He said the speed wasn't much differed from when he was at the top of the sport.
"But the electronics have changed a fair bit and there's new guys there and the styles have changed a bit as well. And I'm a bit old to be changing my style now,'' he said.
Bayliss promised that the Bayliss Classic will be 'bigger and better' in January 2016.
"That's why I'm here. I'm on a new bike and I'm starting to work on that for next year,'' he said.
"I was pretty happy with the way it all went earlier on in the year. Stephen Bromhead has really helped out with the grants and hopefully we can get some more for the permanent lighting.
"That will make a big differnce.
He assured there'll be a strong American influence here next January. This year's classic was won by Jayden Mees with his countryman Henry Wiles second.
"For sure they're as keen as mustard to come back next year,'' Bayliss said.