Ducati Considering Having Troy Bayliss, 45, Riding the 1199 Panigale in the Thailand WSBK Round

The name of the three-time WSBK champion Troy Bayliss comes once more to the front page as we might just see him once more in the saddle of the Aruba Ducati 1199 Panigale superbike, substituting for injured rider Davide Giugliano. Bayliss, 45, took part in the kick-off 2015 WSBK round on his home circuit at Phillip Island, 20-22 February, and he qualified 13th on the grid, a very good performance considering his age and the fact he is… well, retired.
Troy Bayliss at Phillip Island, 2015 5 photos
Troy Bayliss at Phillip Island, 2015Troy Bayliss at Phillip Island, 2015Troy Bayliss at Phillip Island, 2015Troy Bayliss at Phillip Island, 2015
The Australian rider finished Race 1 in the 13th position and ahead of the younger ex-MotoGP rider Randy De Puniet, while the second race saw him dropping into the 16th position. Even so, the Aussie managed to earn three valuable points for Ducati which is better than none at all. Most people thought Giugliano would be replaced by Ducati’s test rider Michele Pirro, but his duties as a developer for the all-new Ducati Desmosedici GP15 bike prevented him from attending the Phillip Island race. He was all tied-up with the Sepang 2 MotoGP and there was no way he could travel between the two venues.

Bayliss vr Pirro vs Fores

While Pirro’s duties as a development rider for the Ducati GP15 have not dwindled, it is yet uncertain whether his testing schedule will allow him to attend the next race as a substitute for Giugliano. Alternatively, Ducati could ask German SBK winner Javier Fores to ride the Aruba Ducati machine. Fores has also substituted for injured Carlos Checa aboard the Panigale in the final round of the 2013 WSBK season.

Even so, it wouldn’t be too big a surprise seeing Bayliss in behind the bars in the Thailand races. After all he has a ton of racing expertise and has good chances to ride the 1199 Panigale to better results in a potential second round. His overall experience could be a huge advantage at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand, because this is the first time any SBK rider will see the track.

The Chang circuit was announced as becoming part of the 2015 calendar in mid-November 2014, with the event due to take place on 20-22 March. This means that the Thai round will be a completely new experience to all the WSBK riders, and expertise each has may play a most important role making the difference between earning lots of points and “leftovers” and even between crashing or flying past the checkered flag.

Giugliano has three fractured vertebrae, but he will be okay

Yesterday Davide Giugliano underwent a medical investigation at the Policlinico di Modena in his native Italy. The doctors confirmed the initial diagnostic of their Australian colleagues: fractures of the lumbar vertebrae L1 and L2, and of the 12th thoracic vertebra.

The Roman rider will be forced to rest for 90 days, as we reported earlier, but the Italian doctors say that the fractures are not serious and he will make a full recovery. Still, he will be missing three more rounds: March 22 in Thailand, April 12 at the Aragon Spain and April 19 in the Netherlands at Assen, with the Imola race on May 10 being the earliest Ducati could have his rider back in the saddle.

Now, it would be amazing to see Troy Bayliss earning top points for the team in the Thai round, what do you say? We believe he can actually do it!
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