The latest outing at Circuito Estoril marked an important point for Oli Bayliss (BARNI Spark Racing Team) as he battled through the lead group for the first time in the FIM Supersport World Championship, finishing one second behind. a first podium. Race 2 was in tough conditions but the experience in his native Australia helped him work his way into the top ten and after the round he discussed the struggle up front, how it allowed him to see where he could improve as a driver and much more.
The Estoril round was the first time Bayliss raced in the lead group as the tricky conditions in Race 2 provided some incredible racing in the WorldSSP peloton. Bayliss then finished sixth, his first top-ten result, as the highest-ranked Ducati rider and the only one to score points after others on the Ducati Panigale V2 ran into trouble. The race was held in difficult conditions with rain falling but not wetting the track to force a change of Pirelli’s intermediate or wet tires, and that’s the experience Bayliss had from his competition days in Australia which he used to his advantage.
Explaining Race 2 at Circuito Estoril, Bayliss said: “Seeing the raindrops, there are a few racecourses in Australia where this exact situation would often occur where there is a bit of spray but the track is not wet but it plays with your head a little bit After a few laps, a bit of rain on the visor, the track didn’t lose grip and we kept pushing for a long time.
“I got off to a pretty good start and the leading group was I think six or four seconds ahead, and I think it was out of turn 7 where every lap I was marking where they were, and I realized that I was catching them a bit. If we can push for a good result, then obviously that’s what we’re going to do. I realized I was catching them, so I put my head down. We ended up there- down and as soon as I got there I thought I might calm down a bit but everyone started bombing everyone It definitely got my heart rate up a bit just because it It’s the first time I’ve had four guys go inside me in one lap! It’s good and I know what I need to work on for the next round and the team knows what they need to work on for the next round. next race.
Race 2 marked the first time Bayliss battled with the leading pack, which at one point stretched to 11 riders, with the Australian rookie finishing one second off his maiden WorldSSP podium. This meant Bayliss was able to get a feel for competing for the podium on the world stage and see where other riders were able to find time on him; giving the 18-year-old more things to work on as the season progresses.
Discussing this, he said, “It was awesome and honestly it was normal once I got up there. Hopefully we can continue to do so. It was a good battle that we had with, I think, about seven riders. There were many passages. It was a good place to be. It definitely helped me learn new things where I can improve and where I feel a bit stronger than the other guys. Everyone has their strengths. Everyone uses them to their advantage. I think, for me, I just had trouble turning the gas on at the same point. I think I need to wait a bit longer and struggle with grip on the first initial twist of the throttle.
Although he scored some good points in his rookie season, Bayliss had to work his way through the pack throughout the races after starting in the middle of the pack. With Tissot Superpole Results of 26e19e and 17ethe results are going in the right direction for the Aussie as he looks to become a regular top ten contender and he was able to explain why the Superpole sessions, the third session for WorldSSP riders, tend to be a bit tougher and how knowing the Misano track from a pre-season test could help him and the team next time around.
Bayliss said: “Basically it’s just every track we go to, it’s a new circuit for us. On Friday we have two sessions, then our third session at this track is Superpole. We try not to rush free practice too much because we really can’t afford to have an accident or a bike drama during this free practice. We really use free practice to learn the track, try to get a comfortable feeling on the bike and then when it comes to Superpole, it’s really the first time we start to push. Every weekend I feel better with the bike and I’m starting to learn the tracks a bit faster, so hopefully we can keep it that way.
“We have a good setting there. We didn’t have a bad test time for our first time there. I’m sure when we go to Misano next weekend we have the setting, I know the track, so hopefully we can pick up some speed and be a bit closer to the front at least, because that I make it difficult for me starting from quite a distance. We make it work, but it will be better to start a little closer to the front.
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