Throughout Ducati's history several riders have won the hearts of fans and enthusiasts, but one in particular is universally known as the "darling" of modern Ducatistas: Troy Bayliss.
Troy Bayliss arrived in the world of Superbike at an advanced age, in 1999 winning the English Superbike Championship on a Ducati at the age of 30.
In 2000 he had begun a new season in the American AMA championship when he was suddenly called back to Europe to replace Carl Fogarty who had been seriously injured at the 2000 Australian GP. Bayliss's first race as a substitute for Fogarty did not go well, as he was involved in two crashes at the start of the race.
Undeterred, at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza he amazed the audience with a series of breath-taking overtakes, and in Hockenheim, Germany he earned his first Superbike victory.
The "Baylisstic" star was born.
During his short career, Troy Bayliss won the Superbike title in 2001, 2006 and 2008 on three different Ducatis: the 998, the 999 and the 1098. In 2003 Bayliss switched to MotoGP, riding alongside his teammate Loris Capirossi. At the end of the season Troy was named rookie of the year.
2004 did not go as well as the previous season, and after a middling 2005 with Honda he decided to abandon the world of MotoGP, then returned in Valencia in 2006 to replace the injured Sete Gibernau. That race was historic because Troy, fresh off winning the Superbike title, returned to the Desmosedici beating his rivals and winning his first and only race in the MotoGP.
Bayliss retired in 2008 after having earned his third riders' title. In 2015 he was contacted to temporarily replace Davide Giugliano, after which he decided definitively to withdraw from racing.