Troy Bayliss closed out his impressive SBK career is style.
Austrailian Troy Bayliss closed out his career in the World Superbike championship with a double victory performance at the Portimao circuit in Portugal. Having already locked up his third SBK crown earlier this season, Bayliss rode to win in his Superbike swan song.
"This was the perfect end to my racing career, to finish with pole and a double win, an absolute fantastic result," said Bayliss after his triumphant finale. "We had a dream start today. I was a little hesitant before Race 1 because none of us had done a lot of laps here so we weren't sure for the tires but I think everyone was pretty much on the same rear. The gap behind me got bigger and bigger which surprised me but I heard that there was a big battle behind me which worked to my advantage. I was grateful for that lead though because by the end the rear was finished and Carlos was catching me. We changed a few things for the second race and I have to say that bike in Race 2 was the best bike I've ever ridden in my career.
"I've been doing this for many years and it was a long way to come but I got here, and now I'm at the end of my career. I have a great team behind me and I thank all of them and the sponsors because you can't do this without those guys. My career's come to an end; I've won the championship and finished my career in one piece so it's incredible really. I wish Michel lots of luck for next season and thanks to everyone who's supported me over the years."
Riding the Xerox Ducati 1098R, Bayliss bested Ten Kate Honda's Carlos Checa in Race 1, with Yamaha's Troy Corser taking third. Corser's teammate and usual podium hunter, Noriyuki Haga, was one of many riders to collect the dreaded DNF in the first contest. Ten Kate rider Jonathon Rea took fourth, leading the one-time 2008 points leader Fonsi Nieto, who is riding for the Alstare Suzuki team.
Bayliss walks away from the racing on a high note.
Ventaxia VK Honda's Gregorio Lavilla led a CBR trio in the 6,7,8 spots which included British Superbike's Leon Haslam and former BSB champion/current SBK rookie Ryuichi Kiyonari. Ducati 1098R rider, soon to be BMW factory rider, Ruben Xaus was ninth with Kawasaki's Regis Laconi rounding out the top 10.
In Race 2 Bayliss was followed across the line by his teammate, Michel Fabrizio. Haslam took his HM Plant Honda up from seventh in Race 1 to an impressive podium finish in Race 2. Suzuki's Max Neukirchner, who was one of the many to DNF in Race 1, recovered for a fourth-place finish. Gixxer teammate Fonsi Nieto was fifth, followed by Corser, Checa and Lavilla. BSB rider Cal Crutchlow finished ninth with his HM Plant Honda, with Laconi once again taking six points in the 10 spot.
Portugal Superbike Race 1 Results
1 Bayliss T. (AUS) Ducati 1098
Winning three SBK titles with three different Ducatis, Bayliss will be remember as one of the best to ever compete in the World Superbike Championship.
2 Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 2.207
3 Corser T. (AUS) Yamaha YZF-R1 6.972
4 Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 15.228
5 Nieto F. (ESP) Suzuki GSX-R1000 16.126
6 Lavilla G. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 18.152
7 Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 18.939
8 Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 20.942
9 Xaus R. (ESP) Ducati 1098 RS 08 32.018
10 Laconi R. (FRA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 32.871
11 Badovini A. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 36.778
12 Rolfo R. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 36.848
13 Nakatomi S. (JPN) Yamaha YZF-R1 41.667
14 Muggeridge K. (AUS) Honda CBR1000RR 41.806
15 Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R1000 48.337
RET Haga N. (JPN) Yamaha YZF-R1
RET Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098 RS 08
RET Neukirchner M. (GER) Suzuki GSX-R1000
RET Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098 F08
RET Biaggi M. (ITA) Ducati 1098 RS 08
Portugal Superbike Race 2 Results
1 Bayliss T. (AUS) Ducati 1098
2 Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098 3.638
3 Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 4.356
4 Neukirchner M. (GER) Suzuki GSX-R1000 4.983
5 Nieto F. (ESP) Suzuki GSX-R1000 6.775
6 Corser T. (AUS) Yamaha YZF-R1 7.403
7 Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 7.578
8 Lavilla G. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 16.113
9 Crutchlow C. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 16.284
10 Laconi R. (FRA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 16.446
11 Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 21.633
12 Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098 RS 08 22.098
13 Biaggi M. (ITA) Ducati 1098 RS 08 24.089
14 Haga N. (JPN) Yamaha YZF-R1 24.117
15 Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 31.003
RET 111 Xaus R. (ESP) Ducati 1098 RS 08
2008 World Superbike Final Championship Points:
1 Bayliss - 460
2 Corser - 342
3 Haga - 327
4 Checa - 313
5 Neukirchner - 311
6 Nieto - 256
7 Biaggi - 238
8 Fabrizio - 223
9 Kiyonari - 206
10 Xaus - 178