News 19 Feb 2024

WorldSSP shakedown sets Bayliss and Toparis up for Phillip Island

Record-breaking lap set by Montella ahead of 2024 opening round.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Today’s Supersport World Championship (WorldSSP) shakedown at Phillip Island saw series full-timer Oli Bayliss on-track alongside local wildcard Tom Toparis, the pair now set for this weekend’s 2024 season-opener.

WorldSSP took centrestage on Monday at the famed grand prix circuit following a late reschedule of proceedings that will see the World Superbike riders in action from Tuesday.

While it was Italian Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Ducati) setting the pace with a record-breaking 1m31.881s at the newly-resurfaced Victorian venue, Bayliss slotted into P12 at 1m32.884s with the D34G Racing Ducati effort and carries high hopes into what will be his second term with the team.

It’s an important campaign for Bayliss on the Panigale V2 955, marking his third in WorldSSP after finishing 16th in the standings and earning a best race result of P6 at Estoril as a rookie in 2022 with the Barni Racing Ducati team. Last year was largely injury-affected, albeit highlighted by eighth in the third race of the year at Mandalika.

Toparis, meanwhile, will forego his Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) commitments with Stop and Seal Racing in order to enter WorldSSP, fresh back from a stint in the British series and with a world championship specification YZF-R6 at his disposal. He’s previously raced at home in the category twice before, recording a best of 11th in 2019. Today saw Toparis post a 1m33.248s for 17th on combined times.

Following Phillip Island, Toparis will revert to a YZF-R1 in ASBK trim for the remainder of the domestic season, while in addition the Stop and Seal Racing with 666 Motorsport organisation will field Jack Mahaffy and Corey Turner in the ASBK Supersport series full-time.

Two more Australians will factor on the grid through much of the season, with Luke Power (Motozoo Me Air Racing MV Agusta) and Tom Edwards (D34G Racing Ducati) both contesting the European-only WorldSSP Challenge rounds of the series.

Further event information and tickets ahead of the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit’s 2024 Motul Superbike World Championship, Grand Ridge Brewery Australian round, can be found at