PERFECT END TO TROY BAYLISS' CAREER WITH TWO FINAL SUPERBIKE WINS AT PORTIMAO
Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) today took part in his last ever Superbike races at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve and triumphed in both Race 1 and Race 2 on board his Ducati 1098 F08, taking in dominant style the 51st and 52nd Superbike wins of his career, his third double win of the 2008 season.
Troy Bayliss, three times World Superbike champion in 2001, 2006 and 2008 today retires from Superbike racing and celebrates a career that has seen him tally up a total of 52 race wins and 26 poles over nine seasons, 11 of the race wins achieved during this 2008 season. He concludes the 2008 season with an 118-point advantage over second-placed rider Corser. Ducati, who took the manufacturers title at the last round in Magny-Cours, finish with an 83 point advantage over second-placed constructor Yamaha.
In Race 1 Troy got a flying start and led from the start. The chasing pack fought it out behind him, allowing Troy to build up a significant lead and, although tyre wear was beginning to affect his performance in the final stages, no-one could catch the Australian champion and he thus took a comfortable win. Unfortunately Ducati Xerox team-mate Michel Fabrizio came off in the opening lap, ending his race before it ever really began.
Race 2 again saw Troy get off to a blistering start and, with his bike set-up in such a way that he later declared it to be the best bike he has ever ridden, he could do no wrong, winning his 11th race of the 2008 season, the 52nd win of his Superbike career. The success of Race 2 tasted all the sweeter due to team-mate Michel Fabrizio's second place finish, his seventh podium place of the season. Michel quickly progressed from tenth to third position in the early stages and moved up by default to second position when Xaus fell during lap 9.
Troy Bayliss (Race 1 - 1st, Race 2 - 1st)
"This was the perfect end to my racing career, to finish with pole and a double win, an absolute fantastic result. We had a dream start today. I was a little hesitant before Race 1 because none of us had done a lot of laps here so we weren't sure for the tyres but I think everyone was pretty much on the same rear. The gap behind me got bigger and bigger which surprised me but I heard that there was a big battle behind me which worked to my advantage. I was grateful for that lead though because by the end the rear was finished and Carlos was catching me. We changed a few things for the second race and I have to say that bike in Race 2 was the best bike I've ever ridden in my career.
I've been doing this for many years and it was a long way to come but I got here, and now I'm at the end of my career. I have a great team behind me and I thank all of them and the sponsors because you can't do this without those guys. My career's come to an end; I've won the championship and finished my career in one piece so it's incredible really. I wish Michel lots of luck for next season and thanks to everyone who's supported me over the years."
Michel Fabrizio (Race 1 - DNF, Race 2 - 2nd)
"I am of course extremely happy with the Race 2 result and I hope to be able to continue to improve next season, and live up to Troy's reputation. Unfortunately in the first race I came off, and sadly Max (Biaggi) was caught up in too but that's racing and sometimes these things happen. In Race 2 I was very determined and managed to make up several position in the initial laps. I pushed until the very end and took second place, my seventh podium of the 2008 season and a great way to finish the year. I will miss Troy so much, he is a fantastic person, an unbelievable rider and he has been the perfect team-mate."