Bayliss competes in Race of Champions

Event features stars of multiple motorsport disciplines

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Dec. 15, 2008
World Superbike Champion Troy Bayliss competed against a field of motorsport stars in the 2008 Race of Champions, Dec. 14 at Wembley Stadium in London, England.

The annual event pits some of the best racers from multiple disciplines in a series of knockout heats behind various four-wheeled vehicles including KTM’s X-Bow. Each heat features two identical vehicles racing on a specially-designed parallel track.

Bayliss was the only professional motorcycle racer in the competition which featured such drivers such as seven-time Formula One Champion Michael Schumacher, five-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb and 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup runner-up Carl Edwards. Motocross racer and X-Games medalist Travis Pastrana was originally scheduled to compete but had to withdraw due to a knee injury. U.S. Formula Drift Champion Travis Foust took Pastrana’s place.

Michael Schumacher and Troy Bayliss both competed in the 2008 Race of Champions. Schumacher lost in the second round to NASCAR's Carl Edwards.Unfortunately for Bayliss, his appearance in the 2008 Race of Champions ended after just one round after he lost his opening heat against German F1 racer Sebastien Vettel. Bayliss and Vettel ran the heat in Race of Champions dune buggies. Bayliss completed two laps in a time of 2:01.2981 but Vettel came out ahead with a time of 1:58.5103.

The final round was a best-of-three matchup between Loeb and F1 racer David Coulthard. Loeb won the first race featuring the Race of Champions buggy. Coulthard evened it up in the second race featuring the X-Bow. The two racers went back behind the wheels of the dune buggy for the final race, with Loeb again coming out ahead to claim his third Race of Champions title.

This wasn’t the first time Bayliss competed in the Race of Champions. The three-time World Superbike Champion last participated in the 2001 event. Other motorcycle racing stars that have competed in the Race of Champions include Valentino Rossi, James Toseland, Ruben Xaus and Fonsi Nieto.