Troy Bayliss press release:
Three-time and current World Superbike (WSBK) Champion Troy Bayliss will suit up for an official driver evaluation day with defending V8 Supercar champions TeamVodafone in May, it was announced today.
Bayliss was a guest of the team at the Queensland Raceway pre-season test, taking the opportunity to get a closer look at the racecars and acquaint himself with key personnel.
Recently retired from WSBK competition, Bayliss has a long-held passion for four wheels and said he saw V8 Supercars as the next step of his career.
The driver evaluation day, to be held on May 14, will provide a comprehensive introduction to the TeamVodafone V8 Supercar and its inner workings, and give Bayliss a chance to try his hand on track.
“I am really excited about this test, I have openly said for quite a while that I viewed V8 Supercars as the next step in my motorsport career,” said Bayliss.
“This is not something I am looking at trying once just to experience it, my long term goal is to compete in select Fujitsu races and shoot for an endurance seat in 2010.”
“I have always been associated with the best equipment on track so when I made the decision to retire from World Superbikes, I met with my manager (nearly a year ago today) about trying to align me with the best possible team in V8 Supercars.
“There was one big added bonus with TeamVodafone, as Roland Dane is a massive Ducati fan and of course that sits well with me.
“At least this way I will know I am in the best possible gear to give the best possible performance and this way I am not wasting anyone’s time.
“I know at nearly 40 I am never going to win the championship but I am still at peak fitness and if I can adapt well enough to the car then I have the potential to be a good endurance driver
“We are also in discussion at the moment about doing a number of races with Audi in Europe so if all our ducks line up this could be a new chapter in my career.
“Whatever happens I will need to be able to make 100% commitment to it – my two wheel career ended like a fairytale and I certainly don’t want anything in the future to take the shine off that.”
Bayliss has a number of ongoing commitments with Ducati which he will uphold throughout the year.
TeamVodafone Principal Roland Dane said Troy’s natural ability spoke for itself and looked forward to working with the WSBK champion at the upcoming evaluation.
“It is my absolute pleasure to be able to give Troy the opportunity to test the waters in a V8 Supercar and four wheel career,” said Dane.
“With three WSBK titles and success in MotoGP, he is truly one of the greatest motorcycle racers of our time and we feel extremely honoured to have him here at TeamVodafone.”
The 2009 V8 Supercar Championship Series kicks off on the streets of Adelaide in just over a week.