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Published on Jan 22, 2013
Inaugural Troy Bayliss Classic hailed a huge success
A crowd of over 5000 turned out to see a spectacle like no other as 23 invited guests of Australia's triple World Superbike Champion put on a show at the inaugural Pixado Troy Bayliss Classic.
The star-studded field boasted 7 World Championships and hundreds of Australian titles shared by riders past and present from categories including World Superbikes, MotoGP, ASBK, Enduro, Flat Track, Speedway, Supermoto and Motocross.
The 400m Taree/Old Bar oil-based dirt track circuit hosted a series of exciting 12-rider races, drawing acclaim from local and interstate fans who labelled it the "...best racing they had ever seen..." and "...best dirt track event ever...".
The Legend and All-Star lineup included 24 riders -- Stephen Gall, David Armstrong, Chris Vermeulen, Jason Crump, Paul Caslick, Josh Brookes, Anthony Gunter, Randy de Puniet, Josh Waters, Troy Herfoss, Shawn Giles, Garry McCoy, Broc Parkes, Barry Cockle, Jamie Stauffer, Chris Watson, Wayne Maxwell, Chris Hollis, Damian Cudlin, Toby Price, Josh Hook, Vaughan Styles, Phil Lovett and host Troy Bayliss.
Rain did little to hinder the event as riders were able to make the most of the opportunity to meet and spend time with fans in the open pits and sign endless amounts of autographs.
World Freestyle Trials Champion Jack Field continued to ride despite the rain, as did stunt rider Lukey Luke and Mick Brasher.
As the rain cleared the action began to hot up, with a local rider, entered as a wildcard from the Taree Motorcycle Club, taking top honours.
Using his extensive experience racing in the United States' AMA series, Michael Kirkness proved too good in the tricky conditions and rode to a win in the feature evening event.
First home in the All-Stars ranks was former AMA Supermoto Champion and Australian Supersport Champion, Troy Herfoss, who placed a solid second.
Another experienced local, Jarryd Oram, rounded out the podium in third.
The event's namesake, three-time World Superbike Champion Troy Bayliss, finished fourth, with the top ten rounded out by Paul Caslick, Broc Parkes, Jamie Stauffer, Damian Cudlin, Josh Waters and Josh Brookes.
Riders made the most of their track time and were still able to set a series of demonstration laps during the rain-affected Bell Helmets Superpole.
Despite the weather, all three rounds of the Troy Bayliss Classic, presented by Insure My Ride, were run and won.
Bayliss thanked those with an involvement in the event and hoped to make the next instalment bigger and better.
"It was great to see such a strong crowd considering the weather, I think it has been a successful first event," said Bayliss.
"I've been really happy with the invited riders -- they made themselves available to the fans and raced hard on the track.
"I've been overwhelmed with the fans' support on Facebook and Twitter, and the riders sure sound like they enjoyed it too.
"I'm already working in making next year's Troy Bayliss Classic even better."
Michael Kirkness - "Organisers did a great job getting the race in with the weather the way it was and I think the lack of laps, lack of sun and heat is what made the track stay so racey for the finals.
"I wanted to win this race pretty badly and put a fair bit into making sure I was ready when I got there. I was pretty confident that I cold get the job done but at the same time I was about as nervous as I've been in quiet a while.
"My bike was sweet straight of the trailer shod with Bridgestone wets, I didn't Change gearing or tyre pressures or even a clicker all day." Concluded winner Kirkness.