Like father, like son: Oli Bayliss, 17, to ride for WorldSBK champ Troy in ASBK

Oli Bayliss, 17, follows in his three-time WorldSBK title winning father Troy Bayliss in stepping up to the Australian Superbike Championship in 2021

Oli Bayliss, Troy Bayliss, Ducati, Australian Superbikes, Ducati Panigale V4 R

Oli Bayliss, the son of three-time WorldSBK Champion Troy Bayliss, will make the leap up to the Superbike class in his native Australian as he prepares to fly the flag for his father’s own team.

The youngster - still only 17 - has enjoyed an impressive rise through the domestic ranks from a young age, finishing runner up to Tom Toparis in the Australian Supersport Championship in 2020. For 2021, however, he he is already primed to take on the power of a Ducati Panigale V4 R with a spot in the ASBK series.

While he already benefits from the guidance of one of Superbike racing’s most decorated champions, Bayliss will also step into Troy Bayliss’ own ASBK outfit, the DesmoSport Ducati team.

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“I’m really excited to move up to superbikes this year, and I really appreciate the faith that Ben, Dad and Ducati have put in me,” Oli Bayliss said. “The Panigale V4 R is such an amazing bike to ride, and the laps and races at Morgan Park last year gave me even more confidence that I can be competitive against Australia’s best racers. 

“I’m training harder than ever and I can’t wait for the test, scheduled at the end of January, to jump on my DesmoSport Ducati Panigale V4 R.”

A particularly proud moment for Bayliss Snr, despite Oli’s young age compared to his contemporaries, the 2001, 2006 and 2008 WorldSBK Champion is confident he is ready to handle the power of the V4 R.

“It’s pretty special to have Oli make his ASBK debut on a Ducati. He’s had two years racing the 600 now and learnt a lot, but we really want to keep him progressing, and after some good days riding the Panigale V4 R last year, he showed he can handle the bike. 

“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 and 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.”

Bayliss won 52 WorldSBK races during a hugely successful career and even notched up a MotoGP win on a substitute outing during the 2006 Valencia MotoGP, the last of the 44 premier class starts he’d make between 2003 and 2006.

Save for one MotoGP season on MotoGP machinery, Bayliss has enjoyed a rich association with Ducati during his career, spending seven seasons with the Italian marque in WorldSBK and two more in MotoGP.