Troy Bayliss and V8 Supercar
Motoaus recently chatted with World Champ Troy Bayliss at Queensland Raceway about his future.
Motoaus chat with Troy Bayliss
Troy Bayliss, raced, barged, scraped, scrapped, and finessed his way to 52 World Superbike race wins.
With those wins came a trio of World Superbike Championships, before that a British Superbike Championship, backing up an Australian Superbike Championship. Throw in a win in his last MotoGP ride after three seasons at the peak of the motorcycle racing mountain, a peak where he climbed onto the podium 7 times. That would be more than enough for most men. Enough to retire satified and comfortable, perhaps a business venture or two.
Not Troy Bayliss. No business ventures yet, he’s not done with racing. He says he’s done with racing motorbikes, time will tell. He wouldn’t be the first heavyweight that laced up the gloves to go a few more bruising rounds. But he’s not done with racing, or more specifically, winning.
Motoaus’ Bec chats to Troy at Queensland Raceway
That’s why he’s picking his way cheerfully through the TV and press interviews at Queenslands "Hairclip" Raceway, his carefully chosen words answering mostly the same questions over and over again. The questions are slightly different than usual, this time we are at a V8 Supercar test day and the reason for the appearance is an announcement from Team Vodaphone that Troy will be testing for a potential, but as yet unspecified drive. Or as Troy puts it, to see if he "sucks" or not.
Other famous motorcycle racers have also had a go to see if they sucked. Wayne Gardner put his Falcon on pole at the biggest Aussie race of them all, Bathurst. Barry Sheen put Peter Brock’s new Mobil Sierra into the wall at Winton, writing it off.
Whether Troy would get a fulltime drive in the main V8 game remains to be seen, but as he says the desire to win burns brightly within. "I’m not sure if it’s riding the bike I miss the most, or the winning." Troy says. Looking out across the wet and windswept Queensland raceway, he ponders his statement and adds, "Like, I wouldnt really want to go out there and ride a motorbike around – but- if it was a race, I’d be out there in a flash!"
Could we see this in the near future, a drive in a front running V8?
We chat some more about life on the Gold Coast, his kids, family life. It’s hard to imagine how difficult it must be to get off that bright and loud circus ride of a famous and revered World Champion motorcycle racer, living in the glitz capital of the world, Monaco, and return to try to live a life not so different to you or I.
Troy has of course brought some of his favorite playthings back to Australia to create a well stocked garage of bikes and boats. Has he fullfilled all he hoped to in motorcycle racing? Amazingly, Troy says he feels there were still a few things he would have liked to have added to the belt notches, surely a sign of someone whose desire to win knows no bounds, including that apparent lack of fear of the bodily consequences of getting it wrong.
It’s clear that he holds an interest in racing a V8 Supercar, past the simple idea of winning. A Ford man in his younger days, he grew up with memories of Dick Johnson in his infamous Greens Tuf XE Falcon. There’s no question he possesses many of the strengths required to be a successful car racer, fearless, fit, and supremely race smart. Added to all that is his down to earth approachable manner, in fact I don’t recall ever hearing anyone say a bad word about Troy Bayliss, unlike some of the other champion Australian motorcycle racers who came before him.
So hopefully later this year we will see Troy back on a racetrack, this time in a car, but surely backed by every motorcycle rider in the country, willing him on to beat the "car guys". It’s a tough hill to climb, but if anyone can do that, Troy Bayliss can.
But after seeing the look in his eyes when talking about his retirement from World Superbikes, we aren’t betting against seeing him pull the leathers on again either.