The Ducati Xerox Team will
compete in next year's World Superbike Championship with a new rider
line-up. Australian Troy Bayliss returns to Ducati to spearhead the squad
and he will be flanked by Italian newcomer Lorenzo Lanzi, who sensationally
notched up two late wins in this year's series, the most recent one being
last weekend at Magny-Cours in the championship finale.
Troy Bayliss is, to put it simply, a legend for Ducati. The 36
year-old from Taree in Australia burst onto the World Superbike scene in
2000 as replacement for the injured Carl Fogarty and then won the title the
following year. After finishing runner-up to Colin Edwards in 2002, Troy
moved to MotoGP in 2003 and 2004 with the factory Ducati team, with whom he
obtained some superb results, in particular in 2003. Troy has now opted to
return to the championship in which he made his name, and the Ducati Xerox
Team rider will surely be one of the protagonists in next year's series,
which gets underway on February 25, in Qatar.
"The biggest thing is that it feels like I'm coming home . and I don't
mean to Australia!" commented Bayliss. "I'm really looking forward to
hopping back on a Ducati Superbike. Even though the bike has changed quite a
lot, the engine is still very similar and has been much improved since I've
been away so it's a built-in package already waiting there for me. I have a
lot of good memories from the past and I aim to continue having more of
"I've been there and done it before, it's still all in the memory bank
so hopefully I can come back and have a good season next year. It's going to
be awesome and I just can't wait to start. The championship is looking
strong now, all the manufacturers are back and it's going to be great to be
there with Ducati and challenge all the other guys for the title".
The other rider in the Ducati Xerox Team will be Lorenzo Lanzi, the
23-year-old Italian from San Piero in Bagno, province of Cesena. The
youngster has also had a meteoric rise to fame, becoming a World Superbike
winner in his rookie season this year. Three years in 125 and 250 from 1999
to 2001 were followed by Lorenzo's first experience with four-stroke
machines and Ducati in the 2003 European Superstock championship, in which
he was runner-up. He then finished fifth in the 2004 World Supersport
championship with the Breil-sponsored factory Ducati 749 and was promoted to
Superbike the following year with the satellite Ducati SC Caracchi team to
race a customer 999RS bike. As replacement for the injured Régis Laconi,
Lanzi then stepped onto the factory 999F05 machine in the Ducati Xerox Team,
and scored a sensational win at the Eurospeedway at his first attempt. The
decision to move Lorenzo Lanzi into Ducati's factory WSBK team is just
reward for one of Italy's most promising new talents.
"I am really happy to join the factory Ducati Xerox Team in the World
Superbike Championship, because it was an aim I had fixed for myself in 2003
when I was racing in Superstock" declared Lanzi. "Now that it's happened I
am so happy because it is the dream of so many Italian riders to race for
the Ducati factory team".
"I have arrived in the team at the right time. I know everyone in the
squad and have already won two of the last races of the season so my
motivation is high. In addition I will have a true maestro at my side like
Troy Bayliss, who will help me for sure. Now I just can't wait to start the
new season with my new Ducati Xerox Team!" concluded Lanzi.
Ducati Corse Superbike director Paolo Ciabatti added: "Next year we
will be taking part in the World Superbike Championship with an exciting new
rider line-up and the F06 version of the Ducati 999. We warmly welcome Troy
and Lorenzo into the team and believe that this combination of experience
and youth will help us to continue our winning tradition in World Superbike.
"Rider changes are always a hard choice to make and it was
particularly difficult on this occasion, because James Toseland and Régis
Laconi have both made a fantastic contribution to Ducati's success in the
last two years, James winning the 2004 title and Régis scoring ten wins with
us. I would like to thank them for everything that they have done for Ducati
in this period and wish them all the best for the future".