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Oli Bayliss moves up to Australian Superbike with Ducati

DesmoSport Ducati have confirmed that young gun Oli Bayliss will step up to the Superbike category in this year’s Mi-Bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship.

After a positive introduction to the Ducati Panigale V4R during 2020 at Morgan Park Raceway in Queensland in the Pirelli Southern Downs Road Race Series, Bayliss says he feels more than ready to race alongside the best in Australia in the premier class.

However, the 17-year-old, who finished second overall in last year’s shortened three round Australian Supersport Championship to Tom Toparis, expressed that he is not putting too much pressure on himself for the first part of the year and simply wants to ease his way into the championship.


“I’m heading into this year with an open mind and have not set any goals in terms of where I would like to finish in the races,” Bayliss told bikesportnews.com.

“In saying that, I would like to finish as close to the front of the field as possible at circuits where we know where we should go well at, such as Morgan Park Raceway,” added Bayliss, who racked up nine top three finishes from 23 race starts in Australian Supersport Championship over the course of 2019 and 2020.

While Bayliss will pretty ‘new’ to the whole Superbike show, and will certainly be a real eye opener at fast tracks around Australia, such as the ‘Island’ and The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia, Bayliss does believe his outing aboard a full-blown World Supersport spec machine at Phillip Island last year will help him in little areas when he saddles up on the Italian machine for the official two-day ASBK test at Phillip Island later this month.

“The World Supersport bike which I rode last year is roughly on par to an Australian spec Superbike. A World Supersport bike produces around the same sort of horsepower and the lap times are almost similar. This should help me when we get to fast tracks throughout 2021. This does give me confident heading into the season, that’s for sure,” explained Bayliss.

“All in all, I’m really excited to move up to Superbike class this year. I really appreciate the faith that Ben [Henry], Dad and Ducati Australia have put in me. I just can’t wait to get back on the bike and get the season started,” finished Bayliss.

Three times World Superbike Champion and Co-Owner of DesmoSport Ducati team, Troy Bayliss has expressed that it’s pretty special to have his son make his Australian Superbike debut on a Ducati.

“Oli has had two years racing the Cube Racing YZF-R6 and learnt a lot, but we really want to keep him progressing,” said Bayliss, who spent most of his international racing career with Ducati.

51-year-old Bayliss explained that after some good days riding the Panigale V4R last year, Oli showed that he could handle the bike very well.

“When it comes down to it, DesmoSport Ducati is a professional team and we’re motivated to not only win, but also grow as a team. Oli has proven that he’s fit, motivated and skilled enough to make this step forward in his career, so I’m looking forward to what the 2021 season has to offer,” concluded Bayliss, who has 94 podiums to his name in WorldSBK, 52 of them, being race wins.


Fellow Co-Owner of the DesmoSport Ducati team, Ben Henry also expressed that he is really “proud” to be able to give Bayliss this opportunity. Having watched Byaliss grow through his entire road-racing career, and his performance at Morgan Park last year was enough for Henry and to be confident in Oli’s ability on a Superbike.

“It for sure will be another steep learning curve, but Oli is a smart racer. If he applies himself properly, he just might surprise himself and a few others as he continues to progress in 2021,” said Henry, who runs and owns Cube Performance Centre in Burleigh, a suburb in the City of Gold Coast, Queensland.

The opening round of the Australian Superbike Championship is scheduled for 19-21 February at the iconic Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.

2021 Australian Superbike Championship calendar:

Round 1: 19-21 February – Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC (with Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships)
Round 2: March 12-14 – Winton Motor Raceway, VIC
Round 3: April 16-18 – Wakefield Park, NSW
Round 4: June 18-20 – Hidden Valley Raceway, NT (with the Repco Supercars Championship)
Round 5: August 20-22 – Morgan Park Raceway, QLD
Round 6: September 23-26 – The Bend Motorsport Park, SA
Round 7: TBC

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