News 31 Oct 2023

Jerez return complete for Bayliss as focus shifts to 2024

Australian goes 18-18 in comeback at final round of WorldSSP season.

Image: GPAgency

D34G Racing’s Oli Bayliss completed his Supersport World Championship (WorldSSP) return from injury at Jerez, with the Australian’s focus now shifting to next year.

After months spent on the sidelines as he underwent shoulder surgery, the 12th round of the season marked Bayliss’ first outing with the team since attempting to ride in free practice at Imola, back in July.

Mixed weather on Friday limited quality track time for Bayliss in the build-up to qualifying, where a 1m45.679s placed him P30 on the grid ahead of the weekend’s two races, only getting one proper session in before having to qualify.

Bayliss went nearly a second quicker in race one, reaching a commendable P18 before finishing in that position again in the final encounter, going faster once more as the season concluded.

It was a heavy misfortune and injury-disrupted campaign for Bayliss, but the number 32 has shown potential across his tenure in WorldSSP and solid race pace.

“That’s a wrap on the 2023 Supersport World Championship,” said Bayliss. I struggled a fair bit this weekend at Jerez. 22nd place in race two wasn’t exactly what I was after today, but I have to remember that I have not been on a bike for quite some time, due to my shoulder.

“So, looking at the bigger picture it was nice to be able to just get back to racing and finish the year out with the D34G Racing team and build into the 2024 season from here.

“Massive thanks to my team, sponsors and everyone who supports me. We’ll regroup, and now turn our attention to next year. Hopefully, I can give everyone some news soon regarding next year… But it’s looking like I’ll see you at round one at the end of February at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.”

While nothing has been officially announced on Bayliss’ future in the WorldSBK paddock, his comments would suggest that is likely. The first round of the 2024 Superbike World Championship, which of course features WorldSSP, will again be contested at Phillip Island, between 23-25 February.