It's not every day you see a Ducati Desmosedici GP3 show up for sale, and especially not if it's an actual race-used machine.

This ex-Troy Bayliss machine is incredibly rare for another reason as well, and that's the fact that it's actually not being offered at auction (at least, this time around). For those who keep an eye on incredibly special ex-race bikes like these, it's far more common to see machines like this grace the likes of Bonhams, Iconic Auctioneers, or even Iconic Motorbikes in the US. 

Theoretically, if you just happened to have a cool £350,000 burning a hole in your pocket, you could walk into the Bike Specialists in Sheffield and strike yourself a deal for an incredibly rare piece of racing history. Incidentally, if you're playing along at home in the US, that works out to a cool $438,231.50. Without VAT, the price is £289,000, or about US $361,664.71. 

But who's counting?

Gallery: 2003 Ducati Desmosedici GP3 - Troy Bayliss Race Bike

This bike, says the shop, is designated as GP3TB1, and was used in the early part of the 2003 season. Furthermore, the shop says, both the engine and gearbox have had a recent and very extensive overhaul, so they're ready to actually run if you want to parade them in local vintage racing events. 

That's one advantage that the Bike Specialists tout about this bike versus more recent MotoGP machines, as a matter of fact. Many an ex-MotoGP bike might be cool to look at, but impractical (as much as owning any race bike is 'practical') to try to operate as a privateer, even for low-key events that are clearly not on the level of the 2003 MotoGP calendar. 

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There are reasons that MotoGP teams are, well, teams, and the bikes have evolved in such a way as to be pretty impossible to run as a single enthusiast. A dedicated team of experts is needed to make them run. By contrast, says the Bike Specialists, this GP3 "can be run easily by privateers." 

To make things even easier, this bike has been switched over to cast iron brake discs, although it does come with the carbon racing discs to keep it all period correct if you so desire. It's a unique chance to own a piece of MotoGP history, and one that doesn't come every day. 

So who's got a spare $361,000 they can loan us?

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