Dirt Track: Troy Bayliss Defends His Turf
The second running of the Insure MyRide Troy Bayliss Classic showcased the best and worst of dirt-track racing, but above the glitches and hitches it was Troy Bayliss who reigned supreme against the best field of dirt racers ever assembled in Australia. Bayliss not only vanquished last year’s winner Mick Kirkness, but he also outpaced American flat track stars Sam Halbert and Henry Wiles to capture his sweetest victory since securing his final World Superbike title in 2008.
For all the day’s brilliant racing, the event was marred by the same sputtering public address system that spoiled last year’s event and an overloaded 91-event schedule that went out due to any number of avoidable and sometimes unavoidable delays caused by red flags, track works, poor race control/race official communication, and riders arguing the point-over exclusions. The TBC final finished at around 10:30 p.m. in the tradition of the twilight meeting, but the newly built entry/exit gate to improve traffic flow out of the Old Bar Raceway failed with many spectators forced to wait over an hour to get out of the joint.
For all the good work done at the track and the best intentions of all those involved in making the TBC arguably the number-one local race promotion of the year, key organizational aspects of the meeting need to be addressed.
In the inaugural 2013 TBC that was threatened by rain, the man himself was merely content to make the final and give the fans something to cheer about. By finishing fourth, Bayliss felt that he had proven himself in the eyes of the world. And if not for a better start, he may’ve nabbed a podium position.
In 2014, winning seemed not just a possibility but an imperative. Not that he made it any easier on himself. American flat track stars Halbert and Wiles are seasoned pros whose specialty is facing off against local tough guys and leaving them to ponder which way they went. And at 45, you had to wonder how many blazing starts and death-defying passing moves Bayliss had left in him against guys almost half his age. Plenty as it turned out.
To read more of the Troy Bayliss Classic report, click here