AX Golden Boys
Matt and Chris Bayliss are two brothers with the same tenacity, passion and grit on a bike. They’ve teamed up together previously at AX but 2017 saw them get the call from a team with a whole heap of indoor experience…a team which just happened to boast the only all British line-up of the Tour.
Coupled with previous Champ Adam Chatfield on the Buildbase Honda Team, Matt (the older of the two brothers) attacked what was an impressive Pro roster with a determination that would leave you surprised to know he only rides part-time, with a full-time job as a carpenter during the week.
His younger brother Chris is in a similar position, working all week and riding the AX Pro-Lites class at the weekends. With both boys riding, it meant that the Bayliss’s were in for a long two months of 7-day weeks working, travelling and riding.
The pair haven't had an easy ride, but were grateful for the support from their team manager, multi British Champion and school boy hero Dave Thorpe.
"Being a part of the Buildbase Honda team has been crucial’ say’s Chris ‘the support we have is unmatched, with special mention to team mate Adam Chatfield who is an Arenacross veteran. The camaraderie between the Brits on the tour is great, but when it comes to racing that's when it all gets more serious."
Both brothers successfully made an impression in their respective classes. Matt finished inside the top ten in a pack of competitive Pro's whilst Chris is chased the tail of the French leader Yannis Irusti in the Pro Lite class, finishing in 5th overall.
Matt comments "my results were ok, I'd like to have been higher up the leader board but as we know, its Arenacross and anything can happen! I just had to keep riding to the best I could and made sure I nailed my starts as they are crucial."
Younger brother, Chris was ready to throw in the towel after an ill-fated crash in Belfast in 2016 it left him completely "over it", but one phone call from Dave Thorpe turned everything around.
Chris explained "it was such an unexpected phone call, I was so excited to be invited onto the team, that kind of opportunity doesn't come around often. It was decided that I'd race in the Pro Lite's which gave me the chance to really show what I can do, it was great to be up there competing for a top place in a tight class!"
Outside of Arenacross the brothers are part of a close knit group that ride and socialise together, "the tour is a great way to see some awesome cities. We've had a few 'lads outings' but we'd would love it if more British riders were on the tour! Before Arenacross we never trained together but that's changed, we've got a solid routine between rounds! I work full time as a Carpenter in the week, but it's been immense to have the support from our family and the team to balance work and riding" explains Matt.
Here’s hoping we see the return of the Bayliss brothers at Arenacross 2018!