Troy Bayliss: No Comeback - "I'm Retired And I'm Happy"

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.

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...but sad for us. I'm sure Bayliss had to weigh his desire to race against his legacy, and I think he is making a very mature - and the correct - decision. We've seen it happen before. A rider has the chance to go out on top, but holds on to the dream a little bit too long. I'd rather remember Troy as the former

Bayliss started too late and retired too soon, but what a career! You can't reverse the clock, and if after one bad test he realises that his heart's not in it, then this is the correct decision. Racing is full of bad days, and it would be a shame to try to light the sparkler again after it had run out of crackle.

No matter how bad at one point Troy may have wanted to come out of retirement, I think he easily made the right choice. As long as Bayliss stays in retirement, his racing legacy will remain intact. He did what so few can ever say they did: he went out a winner...both in MotoGP (the last 990cc race. Despite it being his only win, he thoroughly embarrassed the MotoGP regulars) and in WSBK with his final title. Going out a winner...even sport legends like Michael Jordan or Joe Montana can't claim that...

A lot of Bayliss' thoughts about returning to racing seem to stem from his unhappy start to V8 Supercar racing in Australia. Two DNFs in the enduro races where we was the second driver in a lowly team seemed to really frustrate him. He was heard saying that of you weren't in the top 5 teams, there was no real point in competing. ( A sentiment I can't agree with- especially in a 600mile event with multiple driver changes and pit stops).
Anyway, it will be interesting to see if he goes car racing again or is indeed fully, utterly retired.

So glad to hear Troy isn't making a comeback..If he did i think two things could have happened..Either he would be finishing down the pack or he would get hurt...I don't want to see either of those things happen..
Troy is an absolute legend in my eyes..I want him to stay retired and healthy..He didn't damage himself too badly while he was racing so why risk coming back and possibly injuring himself..He has nothing to prove..He will always remain in my top two racers of all time..Other one being mighty Mick Doohan..I do love Rossi and Stoner but there was something about those two guys..
Troy stay retired and enjoy your life and if there is someone out there in V8 Supercars that can offer him a decent ride please do..Would love to see him racing at Bathurst in the tin tops...

Wasn't he on track at Misano with other current Ducati SBK riders...Haga, Fabrizio, Byrne etc? Laconi was on track earlier in the week.

No doubt the promise made to his wife is uppermost..although he seemed to forget at Mugello after a 51.9, but I'd love to find out what the Misano lap times were from all the riders on track...couldn't be that Troy got his ass handed to him on a plate, could it..?

Superbike lap record at Mugello - ass handed to him at Misano? Doubt it. Tough day finding the setting maybe but that was most likely the lightbulb he needed. It must be hard walking away from something you love, something that defines who you are and then try to race taxi's in Australia (don't do it Troy V8 Supercars suck) We all know IF he came back he would be fast. Problem is and it seems a lot of his fans agree IF he came back it would be Troy style which would be taps on and the risk of seeing a legend get hurt is too much. He has nothing to prove and retires a true legend of motorcycle racing. Started late and through true grit and determination rose to the top to win WSBK and MotoGP races. Troy should be very happy with his accomplishments and I am surprised Ducati don't have him in the team showing them where full throttle is

You're quite right setrocks..found the Misano times on MCN..

Monday test times:

Troy Bayliss – 1.35.6 (Race tyre)
Michel Fabrizio – 1.36.0 (Qualifier)
Carlos Checa – 1.36.3 (race tyre)
Noriyuki Haga – 1.36.4 (Qualifier)
Lorenzo Lanzi – 1.36.6 (race tyre)
Shane Byrne – 1.36.8 (race tyre)
Luca Scassa – 1.36.9 (race tyre)
Regis Laconi – 1.37.7 (race tyre)

And there it is in black and white... there's nothing much wrong with the factory Ducatis in 2010, folks... except maybe the pilots.

so an imminent switch to cycling and an entry into the Tour De France can be expected then? :)