The dream is over. The millions of Ducati fans around the world who have had such a tough year in 2010, seeing Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga struggle with the Ducati 1198R, the rumors that three-time World Champion Troy Bayliss would make a return to World Superbikes were as if their prayers had been answered. The rumors had been rumbling since the beginning of the year, but when Bayliss tested the Ducati at Mugello earlier this year, breaking the Superbike record at the track, Bayliss himself started fueling the rumors, commenting that he was giving a comeback serious consideration.
But in a press conference held at Misano, given during the World Ducati Week festival, Bayliss shocked the assembled press by announcing that he is still officially retired, and that he intends to stay that way permanently. The comeback he had prefigured was now completely off the cards, and Bayliss had made his peace with retirement.
So what changed the Australian's mind? It was rediscovering that riding a motorcycle competitively can bring bad times, as well as good. At Mugello, Bayliss told the press, everything had gone perfectly, and he had thoroughly enjoyed himself, rekindling the fire for racing again. But at Misano, he had spent a day filled with frustration, trying to get the Ducati to work around the track, and going nowhere. "That's when it hit me, and it was hard things like that that I didn't miss about racing," he said. That experience completely changed the Australian's mind, and he decided on Friday night that it was over. His future now was simple: "I'm retired and I'm happy," Bayliss said.