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Need for racing culture

James Jose
Filed on September 10, 2012

Triple Superbike World Champion Troy Bayliss has said that Abu Dhabi needed to build race tracks for bikes and hold a championship right from the grass-root level to nurture talent and make a strong case for hosting MotoGP in the future.

Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit, the spectacular venue of the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, was talked about as a possible candidate on the MotoGP calendar. In fact, MotoGP bosses, renowned track designer Hermann Tilke and riders Loris Capirossi and Casey Stoner visted the Yas Marina Circuit couple of years ago and the delegation had suggested a few changes to the circuit in terms of run-off areas and safety precautions for bikes.

Capirossi went on to say that Abu Dhabi could host a race in 2011. But it didn’t happen as planned. There was talk of a 2012 and 2013 date but that too did not materialise.

Bayliss, who won Superbike world titles in 2001, 2006 and 2008, said that two-wheeler racing would be a great addition to Abu Dhabi.

“It would be very good for the UAE and Abu Dhabi if you could have Superbikes and MotoGP and maybe some other 24-hour race. But the first thing is you need motorsport to grow here in Abu Dhabi,” Bayliss said at the launch of Ducati’s new dealership in Abu Dhabi.

Bayliss, who won all his three titles with Ducati and also won a MotoGP in Valencia, spelt out the importance of grass-root racing. Superbikes have a huge market in the UAE with young and the old having a fondness for fast bikes.

“You need to ride on more tracks and you need more tracks in Abu Dhabi. You need to have good facilities and have a championship going here in Abu Dhabi. That’s what you need. You need grass-root racing so that you can build it up and showcase it to other championships,” said Bayliss.

Bayliss was pleased though that the biking scene around the world was getting more competitive and better.

“There are guys who have been around for a long time but also now we have a new generation coming through, whether it be from Superbikes or guys from Moto3 or Moto2, there are a lot of fast guys coming through. I think it is going to get more difficult for guys to get jobs on bikes with so many young guys coming through who are so hungry. But that’s good. Eventually, you will find the fastest guy” said the 43-year-old.

Despite having a dream team in world champions Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden, Ducati have had a pretty rough season this year. Multiple MotoGP World Champion Rossi, nicknamed ‘The Doctor,’ is eighth in the world championship standings, while Hayden, nicknamed ‘The Kentucky Kid,’ is ninth. Rossi will return to Yamaha next season.

Bayliss said that everyone goes through difficult times and it was important to look to the future.

“Everybody has to have some difficult times. I still think it has been a good year for Ducati with Valentino and Nicky. The company is doing well. We haven’t achieved the results that we wanted but we look to the future and hope that things can turn around,” said the Australian.

Bayliss, who started late my biking standards, had no regrets about his career.

After I stopped racing in 2008, was a very difficult decision anyway, but it was the right decision. I had a good career. Family had been very supportive of me for a long time. I wanted to get back to my wife and my kids back in Australia at the correct time. That was it. My racing was finished but the next couple of years were very difficult because watching the racing and me sitting at home, that nearly killed me. But i can live with it now. I think it was important in the end to finish the way I did. I’m still heavily involved with Ducati and life is good,” said Bayliss, who signed off his career with his third world title in 2008.

“I enjoyed my time. I was good to Superbikes and Superbikes was good to me. I wouldn’t change a thing,” he added.

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