January 2019 remains the date set down for the return of Taree Motor Cycle Club’s Troy Bayliss Classic.
Club officials are continuing to negotiate with Bayliss regarding the event, although it has been confirmed the classic won’t go ahead next January.
Bayliss announced in April that the classic wouldn’t go ahead next January 2018, blaming increased operating costs and reduced income from this year’s edition.
“Unfortunately, the cold hard fact is the Troy Bayliss Classic is an expensive event to put on so without some serious backing it is just not financially viable,” Bayliss explained.
Taree Motor Cycle Club president Craig Nelson is confident the classic will return in January 2019.
“Now that we have the (Australian junior) championships out of the way we can concentrate on the Bayliss Classic,’' he said.
Mr Nelson said the club is currently speaking with Bayliss on ways to improve the track surface.
“We’re tapping into his expertise,” he said.
Obviously any improvements will also cost money, so we’re looking at avenues for funding.”
Mr Nelson said it is planned to hold the classic every two years after 2019.
“It’s easier for everyone that way – the overseas riders, the club, Troy and our sponsors,’’ he said.
Mr Nelson said previously the washout of the 2016 event burnt the 2017 classic, with crowd figures down last January.
“Local businesses have really got behind the event, but more support is needed. I believe the rained-out 2016 event contributed to fewer spectators through the gate this year."
However, Bayliss has no plans to move the classic from the Old Bar Roadside Circuit.
“Taree Motor Cycle Club is where I started racing and is the home of the Troy Bayliss Classic,’’ Bayliss emphasised
“It will be held at the Old Bar circuit, or it won’t take place at all.”
In the space of five years, the Troy Bayliss Classic has grown to become one of Australia's most prestigious invitation only motorsport events.