Troy Bayliss has every intention of doing well with his DesmoSport Ducati team in this year’s Australian Superbike series, having won the title in 2020. The riders for 2021 are the three-time world champion’s son, Oli Bayliss, who will debut in the reigning class this season, and 26-year old Mike Jones, last year’s winner of the Australian title with Troy Bayliss’ team.
Brent Stephens arrives
To be sure that everything is in place on the mechanical side, Troy Bayliss has hired none other than Brent Stephens, who up until last year was working alongside Valentino Rossi. With the Italian’s move to the Petronas team, the New Zealand technician became free and Troy Bayliss didn’t hesitate to sign him up as a race mechanic; he will work on Mike Jones’ Panigale V4 R.
"Two riders in the garage adds a lot more work for the entire team, so when it became time to consider who might be available to help us, and the standard we were looking for, the list was pretty short", Troy Bayliss told Speedcafè.com.
“Brent has a long history in racing on the world stage, from World Superbike to MotoGP, and has maintained an incredible reputation over the years for his professionalism and abilities, so to bring someone of his calibre to DesmoSport Ducati is unreal", concluded Bayliss.
"Brent worked with us on Mike’s Panigale V4 R in our first test of the season at Phillip Island and I think it’s fair to say that I’m extremely happy with how the team is coming together for 2021", added team co-owner, Ben Henry.
A different challenge
“I’m excited to join DesmoSport Ducati for 2021 to work on Mike’s bike,” said Brent Stephens.
“I’ve enjoyed a great career on the world stage, working with some of the world’s best riders, the most incredible bikes, and some great teams over the years, but I have to admit, I’m looking forward to having a team located a few kilometres from my house!
“I enjoy the challenges that racing brings and moving from a MotoGP bike to an ASBK-spec superbike is extremely different but no less of a challenge”.
But still with number 46...
After Valentino Rossi, Stephens will continue to work on a bike with number 46.
“It’s no secret that I chose 46 because I’m a Rossi fan, so to now have one of his long-term mechanics working on my bike, just adds to my confidence heading into the 2021 season”, commented Mike Jones.
Oli Bayliss will race with #32, the same number his father used in BSB.
The opening round of the 2021 ASBK championship is scheduled to take place at Phillip Island over the weekend of 19-21 February.
Translated by Heather Watson