Troy Bayliss rose to Superbike World Championship (WSBK) prominence in the early aughts. The Australian secured his first WSBK crown in 2001 aboard the Ducati 998 before leading the company’s 2003 MotoGP campaign. In 2006, Baylisstic returned to the Superbike paddock, regaining his title astride the Ducati 999 Factory 2006 “Superman”. Two years later, the number 21 rode the 1098 R Factory 2008 to yet another WSBK championship, cementing his legacy at the House of Borgo Panigale.
Most recently, Ducati has celebrated Bayliss’ accomplishments with a museum exhibit dedicated to the three-time WSBK champ. Now, the brand will honor the Aussie yet again when it unveils a new special-edition motorcycle on July 22, 2021. While we can’t wait to see Ducati’s top brass lift the covers on the Bayliss-inspired model, this isn’t the company’s first rodeo.
In 2019, the brand released the 25° Anniversario 916 Panigale V4 to commemorate iconic sportbike and Carl Fogarty’s four championships with the Ducati race team. Utilizing the WSBK Laguna Seca round as a launchpad, Ducati ARUBA.IT Race Team riders Alvaro Bautista and Chaz Davies also rode Panigale V4s outfitted with 916-inspired liveries to promote the model.
With the 2021 WSBK Assen race scheduled for July 23-25, 2021, we wouldn’t be surprised if Ducati used the Dutch circuit as the springboard for its Bayliss-dedicated sportbike. While 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of Bayliss’ first WSBK championship, the Australian famously beat James Toseland to the checkered flag at the Assen circuit in 2007. As such, the Netherlands would serve as a perfect venue to launch a Troy Bayliss special edition.
Similar to 25° Anniversario 916 Panigale V4, we expect a 998, 999, or 1098 R-inspired livery and Bayliss’ legendary number 21 on the limited model. While we also expect up-spec componentry, we can’t speculate on the specifics. We’ll have to wait for Ducati to reveal the full details on July 22, 2021.