Troy Bayliss launches new race team
By Trevor Hedge
Mike Jones to ride Ducati Panigale 1299S in new DesmoSport Ducati Corse squad jointly managed by Troy Bayliss and Ben Henry
Ben Henry’s Cube Racing squad has joined up with Troy Bayliss for season 2016 to form DesmoSport Ducati Corse.
2015 ASBK Champion 21-year-old Mike Jones will continue with the Queensland based squad to defend his title in the 2016 Australian Superbike Championship, and also into the newly announced 2017 motoSBK Championship.
Mike Jones will ride the 1299 Panigale S for the first time at Sydney Motorsports Park early next month.
The team will also run a rider in the Supersport category. 20-year-old Robbie Menzies will take the controls of a ZX-6R as he moves up from the Ninja FX300 cup.
In the small capacity Production category run at Australian Superbike events the team will also field at least one entry.
The team will focus solely on the M.A. managed series and will not take part in the Terry O’Neill managed Australasian FX Superbike Championship.
Team Principal Ben Henry, now 34, will step down from riding duties to instead concentrate his efforts on managing the squad, in conjunction with 50 per cent team owner Troy Bayliss.
Unveiling the team at the 2015 Sydney Motorcycle Show today, Bayliss said he was thrilled to be coming back into the championship.
“I am really excited to be partnering with Ben (Henry) in the Desmosport Ducati team,” said Bayliss
“I cut my teeth in the Australian Superbike Championship in the mid 90’s so I am looking forward to coming back and getting involved as a team owner instead of a rider.
“We will start out with one rider (Mike Jones) and our goal is to expand to a two-rider team for the start of the motoSBK season.
“I am really excited about the future of the sport and I am hoping everything we are doing will help create more interest in the series,” Bayliss concluded.
Acknowledging there was a lot of work to do between now and the start of the season, equal 50 per cent owner of the team Ben Henry said it was an incredible opportunity.
‘I am really excited at the prospect of going from a privateer to a factory backed operation,” Henry said.
“This is huge opportunity not only for me personally but also for the sport.
“We are starting with one rider, we will test the waters and get right with Mike Jones before we expand late in 2016,” he continued.
“Mike is a terrific young racer, he was always fast and with the right people around him he grew and grew this years.
“He is definitely one of the front-runners and will start the season with the number 1 plate.” Henry concluded.