Compared to other sportspeople, motorcycle riders have a more marked streak of madness, and some more than others. Troy Bayliss is definitely one of these, with many anecdotes to corroborate this fact dating back to the early 2000s, when he was one of the stars of Superbike. This madness perhaps came to a peak in 2007, at Donington Park, when he requested that his little finger be amputated after Race 1, so that he could get back out and battle James Toseland in Race 2.

 The incident that compromised his season

After winning his second Superbike title in 2006, the Australia set out to defend it the following year and began the season fighting fit. Until round three that is, when he was caught up in a bizarre episode at the English track. Bayliss’ Sunday started well enough, and he was able to build a lead in the initial stages of Race 1. Unfortunately, though, he pushed a little too hard and crashed at Coppice, one of the fastest turns. His hand was caught under the bike and when he took his glove off, he was in a for a bloody surprise. His little finger was seriously injured, but Troy didn’t panic.

 And yet that wasn’t what stopped him

Troy went to the medical centre and, still high on adrenaline, asked if they could amputate his finger so he could race again a couple of hours later. After making this unlikely request, Troy promptly passed out. Things then took a turn though, as although his little finger was ultimately amputated, the injury also involved his testicles. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the incident put an end to his weekend.

Last year he looked back at the injury on social media and recalled: I didn’t realise, because I had a lot of pain in my groin. Then an English kid called out and asked if I’d give him his glove. When I took if off I realised something wasn’t right and that I needed to go to the medical centre. So I went to Doctor Massimo Corbascio. We decided to cut off the finger because there wasn’t much else we could do”. And then, in classic Bayliss style, he showed his finger and commented: “It hasn’t grown back”.

Translated by Heather Watson

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