Portimao: Ducati preview

2008 WORLD CHAMPION TROY BAYLISS (DUCATI XEROX) CLOSES HIS SUPERBIKE CAREER AT PORTIMAO Portimao: The 2008 World Superbike championship comes to a close this week, and factory riders Troy Bayliss and Michel Fabrizio travel to Portugal and the ...

2008 WORLD CHAMPION TROY BAYLISS (DUCATI XEROX) CLOSES HIS SUPERBIKE CAREER AT PORTIMAO

Portimao: The 2008 World Superbike championship comes to a close this week, and factory riders Troy Bayliss and Michel Fabrizio travel to Portugal and the brand new Autodromo Internacional do Algarve for the final round. The Ducati Xerox team commences the weekend in a relaxed state of mind, having already secured the 2008 World Superbike riders and constructors titles with Troy Bayliss and his Ducati 1098 F08, a winning race bike in its debut season.

Three weeks ago at Magny-Cours, the penultimate round of the championship, Troy Bayliss triumphed to take his third World title, with his Race 2 win also providing the necessary points for Ducati to bring home their fifteenth manufacturers title since 1988.

Troy Bayliss will retire from Superbike racing after the coming weekend's race, a significant moment for a man that has lived the life of a Superbike champion for the last nine years, ever since he won the British Superbike title in 1999. He then went on to win the World title in 2001, in 2006 and for a third and final time this year, having clocked up over the last nine seasons 50 race wins and 92 podium finishes over 152 Superbike races.

In celebration of his victory in the 2008 World Superbike Championship aboard the 1098 F08, and the end of a career that proudly claims three World Championships with three generations of Ducati Superbike, Troy Bayliss' bike will this weekend carry a special commemorative livery.

The Autodromo Internacional do Algarve is situated close to the city of Portimao and is a brand new facility, with the track only having been completed in the last few weeks. The circuit immediately plays host to the World Superbike championship, the first international event to take place there. The Ducati Xerox Team carried out a two-day test session at the track at the end of last week with positive results and the squad now looks forward to racing there, hopeful that they can finish the 2008 season on a high. The Portuguese track is the third and final new addition to the 2008 calendar, with the championship having already visited Miller Motorsports Park in America and the German Nuerburgring for the first time this season.

Troy Bayliss (2008 World Superbike champion, 410 points)

Having won at nearly all of the circuits at which he has raced over the years, Troy, the newly crowned 2008 World Champion, now looks for a win at Portimao.

"I am a lot more relaxed now that I know that we have done what we set out to do. We've won the riders and constructors titles and can tick that off the list. Now I can go to Portimao knowing that a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I'm looking forward to racing there, as what we saw during the recent test days was a very impressive track! It's been a long and stressful year and I'm tired, I feel I have just enough energy left to complete these last two races... I would love to finish the season, and my career, with a win so that's my goal this weekend, to ride with no pressure and just enjoy what will be my final two Superbike races!"

Michel Fabrizio (8th in championship, 203 points)

Michel enjoyed riding the Portuguese track during the recent test session and is hopeful to conclude his 2008 season with the Ducati Xerox team with two great results.

"We saw last week that the circuit is really beautiful, like a roller coaster ride! Even though the track is not especially fast there are some very fast sections. During testing it was still very dirty so it remains to be seen whether it will be any cleaner this week, I hope so! I like the layout a lot and am looking forward to the racing. Earlier in the year at Miller, a track I hadn't raced at before, I finished up on the podium; who knows, maybe I can do the same at Portimao, it would be a great finish to the season."

Country: Portugal
Name: Autodromo Internacional do Algarve
Circuit length: 4.658 km
Corners left: 6
Corners right: 9
Length of race: 22 laps = 101.024 km
Lap records: NEW CIRCUIT
2007 results: NEW CIRCUIT

-credit: ducati

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Troy Bayliss , Michel Fabrizio