Twice WorldSBK Champion Troy Corser has had his say on the 2022 Superbike season and upcoming talent for the new year to come.
Trackside for the season finale at his favoured Phillip Island, Corser was enthusiastic about the battles waged by the top three and ultimately won by Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista.
“It’s been fantastic to watch,” Corser reflected. “To see three riders at that level on different manufacturers, racing so close, and the respect between the riders I see on the track. They’re racing hard but fair, they’re not causing any problems to the other riders. For me, this is what makes WorldSBK so special.
“For Ducati, with the history of their success in WorldSBK, it’s difficult to believe it’s been 11 years since they won the championship. I’ve always said Bautista is a great rider and to work with the engineers and personnel in Ducati, I think it really brought the best out of him as a rider and he brought the best out of the team. It’s great. He’s a good character, very nice with the fans, the public and everybody.”
The Australian saw his 377 race starts record equalled by KRT’s Jonathan Rea at Phillip Island in November, but despite that, the Northern Irishman was still the one to watch as far as the 51-year-old was concerned.
“Jonny’s the rider, when I watch, who looks like he’s very in control all the time.
“I’ve obviously known Jonny for a long, long time from when he first entered WorldSSP back in the day. I’ve spent some time with him also, helping him as much as possible. To actually watch him now, to see what he’s achieved as a rider, is pretty special.
“It’s another record where I’ve been waiting for it to be broken,” he admitted. "For Jonny to meet this milestone, it feels nice. Like I said, he’s a rider that I’ve always enjoyed helping and watching him win and for Jonny to take my record, I guess you could say, it’s good.”
While Corser retired from the WorldSBK paddock back in 2011, 2023 will see another Australian join the fold, in the form of Remy Gardner.
“Remy, for me, it’s a little bit difficult to see where he’ll finish in WorldSBK,” Corser said of the new GRT Yamaha rider’s move from MotoGP. “For sure, he’s a very talented rider, but it’s a different paddock. He has a lot of talent, he’s very fast, but to put a whole season together here, it’s not easy.
“He’s learnt a lot in MotoGP but I think the Superbikes are probably a little bit harder to ride. I wish him all the best. We’ll wait and see, it’s difficult to say before I’ve seen him on a Superbike.”
Another home talent has endured a rollercoaster debut season in Supersport. Oli Bayliss joined the class with Barni Ducati but will be replaced by Yari Montella for 2023 - with Davide Giugliano's D34G Racing squad rumoured to be providing the lifeline for the 19-year-old.
“Oli Bayliss, for sure, has a lot of pressure, I think, because of his father, Troy’s, success and with the name,” Corser said of the teenager. “He seems quite calm and relaxed. He still needs a bit of experience, a bit more time on the bike but it’s fantastic to see Troy have his son out there - I’m sure he’s very proud. I’m sure it’s very stressful also, for him and Kim!
"I’d like to say he could be another world champion but there’s a long way to go at the moment for him, just to get results and get experience.”