The buzz surrounding the support classes in round one of the 2018 MOTUL FIM Superbike Championship at Phillip Island this weekend was huge – with most of that thanks to ‘Team Bayliss’.
Because not only did year nine student Oli Bayliss begin his second full season of road racing in the national supersport 300 class, but Phillip Island also heralded the return of his famous dad – 48-year-old Troy Bayliss – to the competitive road racing arena in the Australian Superbike Championship.
In the intra-family battle, 14-year-old Oli came out on top in the bragging rights, tearing up the grand prix circuit with 1-2-1 finishes on his Kawasaki to claim the overall ahead of Yamaha pair Tom Bramich (4-1-3) and Locky Taylor (3-4-2).
Troy was fourth overall in the superbikes after 2-5-6 finishes on his Ducati, with race one a particularly stirring affair when he fell just 0.2 seconds short of victory.
“It was such a good weekend to start the season. That last race was so much fun, and I did not want to be like first coming onto the straight otherwise it would have muffed everything. But I was still pretty lucky coming from fourth.
Dad loves racing – but he doesn’t really watch me a lot as he gets too nervous! And mum doesn’t watch me one little bit, as she’s a nervous wreck as well!”
Troy Herfoss (Honda) was the first-up winner in superbikes before Wayne Maxwell (Yamaha) and Bryan Staring (Kawasaki) greeted the chequered flag in races two and three.
Staring was the overall winner on 60 points, with defending champion Josh Waters (Suzuki) and Herfoss tied on 59 ahead of Bayliss (51).
In supersport, Tom Toparis (Kawasaki) was a juggernaut, easily winning all three races ahead of Cru Halliday (Yamaha). Max Croker (Suzuki) was third in race one before Nic Liminton (Yamaha) made the position his own for the balance of the program.
The YMF R3 Cup overall was claimed by Tom Bramich ahead of Zac Levy and Hunter Ford.
For full results across all support classes, visit www.computime.com.au
Round two of the 2017 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship will be held at Wakefield Park near Goulburn (NSW) from March 16-18.
For more information contact the circuit on the toll free World Superbike Hotline 1300 728 007 or www.worldsbk.com.au