Bayliss to run dad’s #32 in Australian Superbike racing debut

| | World News
Picture: Russell Colvin

Oli Bayliss has confirmed he will run the number 32 during his Australian Superbike debut this season.

Why is #32 such a big deal? Well, you have to cast your minds back 26-years ago and Troy Bayliss made his road racing debut in the Australian Supersport Championship, with #32. The former three times WorldSBK champion then kept #32 in 1996, when he jumped up to the premier class in the Australian Superbike Championship, which saw him finishing in third place in the championship.

And of course, let’s not forget 1998 and 1999 when Bayliss Snr came to the UK to race in the British Superbike Championship aboard the GSE Racing Ducati, he then also ran #32. Finally, in the early part of the 2019 ASBK season, he again sported the #32 aboard the Panigale 1299 FE machine.

In Oli’s short road racing career to date he has had to change his race number when stepping up the classes, from the Supersport 300 to the Supersport and now Supersport to Superbikes, as other riders were already racing with his desired number.

“Moving up to the Superbike championship this year I was unable to run #68 at the time. Mum, Dad and I had a bit of chat about it, and I decided on 32, the same number Dad raced with here and when he first went to BSB,” said Bayliss.

“I think it’s pretty cool to be able to share something like this with Dad, so even when the opportunity to change back to 68 came up with Glenn Scott retiring, I decided that I really want 32 to be my superbike race number.”

Troy Bayliss expressed that it was cool that not only does his son get to make his Superbike debut on a Ducati, but to also choose his original race number, before he moved to his famous #21.

“It’s pretty special. Sometimes this kid surprises me with the decisions he makes, and I’m pretty confident that we’re going to see him make that 32 his own now,” said Troy.

In terms of how Oli did on track today. Well, he openly admitted that he did struggle at the start of the day, but that was to be expected, as it’s his first time riding a Superbike around the 4.445km seaside circuit.

“The team and I kept chipping away and it paid off. In the last session we got our form together and posted some decent lap times which is very positive. We are happy as we have a good base starting point for tomorrow. Hopefully if the weather holds up for tomorrow, we can keep continuing to improve and go a little bit faster,” said Oli.

The opening round of the Mi-Bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship, presented by Motul is scheduled for 19-21 February at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.