Trev: So what year are you in at school now Oli and do you like school or are you counting the days until you leave”
Oli Bayliss: “I’m in year 12, but I’ve got about 19 days left. So I’m pretty keen to get out of there, but the school that I’m going to now I’m a lot happier in than the one I was in before.“
Trev: And after your breakthrough Superbike win in Darwin you said you were looking towards mum cooking you a nice celebratory dinner, what did you have?
Oli: “Good ole BBQ, just a nice BBQ at the house we had at Darwin, with the whole team.”
Trev: Kim, it must be like feeding an army when both Oli and Troy are training hard?
Kim: “Yeah, pretty much. Oli is not too bad now, but there has been times when it’s been like that. Troy tends to have about five breakfasts before we’ve even started our day.”
Trev: I believe Abbey recently finished her studies and Mitch is going great guns with his fitness centre. Of course I should note that it was Mitch we would often see on the podium with you Troy back in those earlier days of World Superbike as Oli was still yet to be born.
Kim: “Mitch is doing good in the gym, Abbey has one month to go for Uni, so she’ll be finished around the end of August, and she’s gone really good. But they’ve been in lockdown for quite some time now. Her Uni has been online more than it’s been offline, in the last 18 months. She’s studying maths/statistics.”
Trev: She’ll be good to go into programming ECUs for Oli later on!
Kim: “She might be too, but I think she’d run in the opposite direction.”
Trev: It was Mitch we’d often see on the podium with you in those early days Troy, before Oli came along. When was the first time Oli went up there with you, can you remember?
Troy: “I am not sure, but I definitely remember the last time, it was the last race at Portimao in 2008, we had the whole crew up there. So that would be the one I remember the best.”
Kim: “I don’t really remember Oli being up on the podium.”
Troy: “I’d see Abbey down the bottom, I’d always throw her the flowers, which she used to love, when she was little.”
Trev: How is the recovery from the bicycle accident going Troy? I believe at one point you struggled to regain full feeling and control of your hands due to damage pressing on the nerves in your neck, that’s a bit scary.
Troy: “It’s definitely getting better, I said to Kim today at the park with the dogs, I’m the best on my feet that I’ve felt. I’ve been really unco, it’s been a weird thing, my whole body has pins and needles all over, not terrible, and when I put my head down, it was much worse in the shoulders and arms. So still trying to work out what’s going on there. I think it’s just – I’ve got to get some more MRIs – with my head in some weird positions to work out what’s going on. It could just be a long ongoing recovery, that’s just going to take a bit longer.“
Trev: It could just be a matter of time for things to settle down.
Troy: “Yeah, now I look at… I was really angry and just hating life… but now I think about it, I’m in no hurry and I’ll possibly be fine, so I’m pretty lucky.”
Trev: I’m sure that makes it easier for Kim and Oli to live with you.
Troy: “The first six weeks were absolutely horrible, but it certainly adds a different perspective, when something like that happens to you. I’ve never had anything like that before. I wouldn’t have wanted to be racing and have had this injury. It would have been a changing moment in my life I reckon, but it doesn’t really matter so much now. But you don’t want that early on.”
Trev: The recent honour with Ducati revealing a special-edition Panigale V2 commemorating the first of your three Superbike World Championships two decades ago must have been really something to make you all feel proud.
Troy: “Definitely Trev, you sort of take it for granted a lot, especially back in the day when you’re riding. But now you appreciate it more and you look back and go, ‘Damn, that was really good for me,’ and the whole thing, it was a great job. And then when they come out and do the bike like that 20 years later, it means they are still thinking about you. That’s pretty good.”
Trev: I think I can speak for most Aussie road racing enthusiasts, most of us that watched that presentation for the bike reveal with Claudio (Domenicali) and Davide (Tardozzi), many of us got a bit of a lump in our throats as well, there was some great memories to relive. It truly is great to see them commemorate those again, it’s awesome to be remember that time which really was perhaps the zenith of World Superbike competition.
Troy: “It is really so good, I’ve got so many good memories of it all.“
Kim: “It’s surprising to think it was 20 years ago Trev.“
Trev: So guys, the house going up for sale, does this mean you are preparing to head to Europe next year with Oli?
Troy: “No, we’re going camping *laughs*. Well, we sort of put an offer in on a farm just over the border in NSW, but we’ve missed out on it. Now our house is going to auction on the fifth of August, so we’re sitting back and waiting to see what happens. Worst case scenario we’ll stay where we are, and if the place sells we’ll go find somewhere.”
Trev: You haven’t put an offer in on Mick’s palace have you, on the canals up there?
Kim: “We’re trying to go smaller in the house size.”
Troy: “Everyone has left and there’s only Oli left, and quite often it’s Kim and I by ourselves, and we don’t need this much space. But then of course, there’s designs for Oli next year. So there’s heaps of stuff going on, and putting it all in the right place and right direction.”
Trev: With regards to Oli, it’s been quite unusual for an Aussie youngster to stay on our shores for so long, and race superbikes here, it’s been fantastic. All our other young guys that have gone on the world stage, left before they had even reached senior road racing here, most never even raced a 600 in Australia, let alone a superbike before they headed to Europe.
Troy: “Some of the guys are going good too, but there’s all different ways you can go about it. I was hesitant there for a little while, because Davide (Tardozzi) was pushing a couple of years ago, saying if you’re serious you should be coming over now, but I wasn’t sure and was kinda going long with that. But now I’m 100 per cent behind what Kim’s idea was – he had to finish school, with plenty of other things going on here. If anything it has worked out better here, he’s only 17-years-old and he’s gone through school. He’ll be able to count the laps now.“
Troy: “I was wondering, I didn’t know that people were talking about getting that in. I know from other ways that the bike was looking at being put in there, so we’re looking down that road, we’re looking at World Superbikes, looking at BSB, and looking at Moto2.“
Kim: “Basically we’re very confused.”
Troy: “It’s hard times at the moment, thinking about the right steps to take, but we’ve got a bit of an idea.”
Trev: I guess just seeing which is the right opportunity that presents themselves, because as you well know, how your big break came, you need that little bit of luck at the right time, right place, right time…
Troy: “it’s interesting times, you know, it’s exciting times too. But stressful as well.”
Trev: Good luck getting another farm, or that one you’re looking at.
Kim: “Who knows where we will end up.“
Trev: I’m on 100 acres up here in the mountains and largely ignore the universe, and find that a pretty good way.
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