Q&A: Troy Bayliss on SBK-08

The two-time world champion Ducati rider talks to GameSpot about why SBK-08 is the next best thing to real racing, why it could be useful for real racers, and more.

Sports games have long known the value of the superstar tie-in. It's big news when the cover athletes for Madden and FIFA games are revealed each year, and even smaller games are getting in on the act; Bruno Senna, the rising star of the GP2 Series, is closely associated with Ferrari Challenge.

However, when it comes to the high-octane racing of World Superbikes, Troy Bayliss is the one who's riding high. Already a world champion twice over, he currently leads the points table for the 2008 season. Bayliss has lent his expertise to Milestone and Koch Media, who are releasing SBK-08 Superbike World Championship on the PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PSP in late June. We raced down to the starting grid to ask Bayliss a few questions about the upcoming game and the current Superbike World Championship season.

Two-time SBK world champion Troy Bayliss.

GameSpot UK: Explain your involvement with the developers of SBK-08. Do they look at you for advice about real-world racing, and do you have any opinions about how the game should play?

Troy Bayliss: I had a certain level of input as I was asked to give the guys some info about how the bike behaves and the way in which I ride it. The developers of the game are all experts, though, and probably worked on the last edition of the game too, so they know what they're doing!

GSUK: Before last year's SBK-07, there hadn't been a game in the series for many years. How important do you think it is for a major sport to have a video game tie-in?

TB: It's a nice idea. A lot of the SBK audience are young people who also play video games, so being able to play the sport that they follow as a game is bound to be pretty popular, I guess. Just like all the football fans play those games, this is a great game for the bike fan.

GSUK: We hear that a lot of football players play FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer during their time off. Is that the case with this game, and SBK riders?

TB: Well, I don't know about a lot of them--I couldn't say--but yeah, I know some of the guys play it, and when you're going to a new track, for example, it can be pretty useful too!

GSUK: What do you think is the most important feature of an SBK game? Do you want it to be realistic, or fun to play?

TB: Combination of both. Personally speaking, I want it to be realistic too, but for the fans it's got to be fun for sure.

GSUK: Your season has started very strongly--do you feel confident about retaking the Superbike World Championship this year?

TB: Well, we've made a strong start and I am happy with the points advantage that I have at the moment, but things can change and it'll be a tough year--we've only done five rounds, so there's still a long way to go!

GSUK: New riders/drivers such as MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo and Formula One's Lewis Hamilton are getting motorsport back into the headlines. Who do you think are the new stars of Superbikes?

TB: Well, Neukirchner is obviously the young guy who's going strong at the moment--he's the one who stands out so far this year.

GSUK: Can a game ever re-create the buzz of the speed and adrenalin experienced during real-life racing?

TB: Well, no, it will never be exactly the same, but as most people will never race in real life, it's the next best thing!

GSUK: What's your favourite circuit in the game? Is it the same in real life?

TB: Yeah. I'd say Monza and Phillip Island--tracks I like in real life too.

GSUK: Thanks for your time.

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Discussion

9 comments
Brain_Fillets
Brain_Fillets

Might have to pick this one up, tried MGP '08 and wasn't really impressed. Bayliss is a legend, give him some respect, but since I own a R6 I have to give love to Rossi, it's the rules.

lordrikardo
lordrikardo

I'm already LOVING this game, can't wait to start kicking Biaggi's 'behind' with M.Neukirchner this game is gonna make me busy for a looong time. inFamous if ur starting on a CBR ur going to need a LOT of calcium. A 2-cylinder is already kinda hard to ride for a beginner i can only imagine starting on a 4 (ouch x 3). Good luck with that. Felipenet, MGP bikes are purpose built, and is of course a great championship but it's a totally different thing, you can't compare it to WSBK, Troy is winner on WSBK and that's all that matters. Ur right, Valentino, Dani, and them all know what they talk about, Troy know what he talks about too, so let 'em talk and shut up.

tig1979
tig1979

Indeed and SBK bikes are a hell of a lot different to Moto GP bikes, a lot wilder and harder to control, Moto GP is great but for pure adrenaline BSB is where the real crazy fun is at. Troy's riding style is more suited to Road bikes than Moto GP, let's be honest though i wouldn't fancy racing him, and when he went back to Moto GP on a wildcard for Ducati he won did he not?

checampbell
checampbell

felipenet7 - is that why he came back for a one-off moto gp race at the end of the 06 season and won ? Even though the guys you mention are all great, they don't race WSBK anyway. I think i know who the loser is......................

felipenet7
felipenet7

unfortunately Milestone went to the wrong guy. Troy Bayliss is a big looser who was fired from MotoGP for lack of performance. Why not go after the big shots like Valentino, Stoner, Lorenzo or Pedrosa the guys who realy know what they talk about?? I'm sure the greatest of them all Valentine would even pay milestone guys a dinner! SBK isn't where the fun and adrenaline is (MotoGP ya baby) but anyway it's just a game so hope the game is much better than the real SBK itself.

tig1979
tig1979

I agree, my first speedyish bike was an NC30 and i had some serious issue's with pavements on that!! haha As for this game looks pretty good and last year's effort on PS2 was good, hopefully will be even better with next gen power, gfx aren't everything ( although they look alright to me) if this game is anywhere near as good as SBK 2001 i'll be impressed.

BiggieTheSpacem
BiggieTheSpacem

If you're getting an RR for a first bike, I'd stick to video games and save yourself the medical bills

mashom
mashom

not intrested...

inFamous_Nik
inFamous_Nik

1st comment! ok this game looks n sounds pretty good, especially considering im gettin a bike by the end of summer (a honda cbr 600rr). but the graphics just look like crap kinda... as much as i would like to play this game, n possibly own it... its def not worth $60... ill get it when it comes down to $40 or $30