16-year-old Oli Bayliss, son of Superbike legend Troy, has been racing in the ranks of Australian Supersport since last year but with the pandemic induced break in ASBK the youngster has decided to try his hand on the big V4R Superbike at this weekend’s second round of Queensland’s Southern Downs Road Race Series at Morgan Park.
“I’m super excited to announce at this weekend’s Pirelli Southern Downs Road Race Series, that I will make my debut outing on the DesmoSport Ducati V4R at Morgan Park Raceway. This is a huge moment in my racing career, and something which I am very, very grateful for. I honestly cannot thank Ben (Henry) and Dad enough for giving me this opportunity. I’m just really excited to see what the team and I can do this weekend. Being my first outing on a Superbike, I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself. I’m simply just going to go out there and have some fun and get comfortable on the bike. I’m very lucky that I’ll have Ben, Mike and Dad in my corner ‘coaching’ me through my first weekend of racing on the Italian machine, so I’m in very good hands. Once again, massive thanks to the DesmoSport Ducati team, our sponsors, and everyone who supports the team and I. I can’t wait for the weekend, that’s for sure!”
Team Co-Owner – Troy Bayliss
“I’m pretty excited to see Oli make the step to a superbike and I’m glad we’re in a position to be able to make that debut on a Ducati. It’s crazy to think that I was over 10 years older than Oli when I first raced a Superbike, but the reality is that he’s ready for it. He’s grown up a lot over the last 18 months, both mentally and physically and both Ben and I are looking forward to helping him make the step from Supersport to Superbike successful“.
DesmoSport Ducati team-mate Mike Jones will also race this weekend and young Oli is not expected to match his more experienced senior but will instead just use the event to gain some experience on a more powerful Superbike after cutting endless laps on a 600 around the busy three-kilometre Morgan Park circuit. The race opens the door for Bayliss to line up alongside Jones aboard the V4R, despite only riding a handful of laps on Jones’ race bike prior to the weekend.
“The year has just been so unpredictable, and it’s unfortunate that we haven’t been able to race ASBK, but we’re all in the same boat. We’ve been lucky to an extent that we’ve been able to ride, test, and even race this weekend coming, to stay sharp, so I’m excited to get back on track. I’m actually looking forward to seeing Oli on track this weekend too to be honest. Riding a Superbike like the V4R, with so much more power and weight, means the way you ride the track changes quite a lot compared to Supersport, but if anyone can adapt quickly, it will be Oli. It’s great to see young riders stepping up and I’m looking forward to showing Oli how to win on a V4R (laughs)!”
Team Co-Owner – Ben Henry
“Oli has been doing a great job on the R6, but as Troy has said, he’s been reaching the limits of the bike as he continues to learn, and now it’s time to step up to a new challenge to keep that learning curve going. He’s a good kid, and already a great rider, so to be able to put him on track alongside experienced riders like Mike will be beneficial to him. For Mike, the weekend is another opportunity for us to keep developing the V4R and staying sharp, in case we can get this season back underway. He’s a motivated racer and I know he can’t wait to get back in a race situation“.
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.