Rossi vs. Bayliss?

Spanish mag says dream match-up in the works

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Dec. 18, 2008
Valentino Rossi has challenged Troy Bayliss to a Superbike duel, says a report in a Spanish motorcycle magazine.

According to Spanish weekly Solo Moto, Rossi challenged Bayliss to a race after the Australian won top rider honors at the 2008 Caschi d’Oro Award in Italy, Rossi’s native land. Bayliss, the 2008 World Superbike Champion, won the top rider award, presented by Italian magazine Motosprint based on reader popularity, over MotoGP Champion Rossi, World Motocross Champion David Philippaerts and 250cc Grand Prix Champion Marco Simoncelli.

Solo Moto reports that the newly retired Bayliss has accepted Rossi’s challenge and the two champions will face each other at the March 14, 2009 World Superbike stop at the Losail circuit in Qatar. Bayliss would ride his familiar Ducati 1098 F08 against Rossi on a Superbike-spec Yamaha R1.

 Troy Bayliss versus Valentino Rossi? Now that's a shoot-out!

Neither rider nor their respective teams has confirmed Solo Moto’s report, but a match-up featuring the reigning MotoGP and WSBK champions would be a remarkable race, especially featuring riders with resumes as impressive as Rossi and Bayliss.