Chaz Davies says he has reason to be pleased with his performance during the third World Superbike round of the season at Assen, despite walking away empty-handed.
Following a fairly luckless start to his maiden WSBK
campaign, Davies was on a quest for better fortune around the circuit where he broke his World Supersport victory duck on the way to title glory.
Qualifying 13th, Davies showed impressive race pace during the first encounter to immediately get himself embroiled in the lead fight, the Welshman belying the rookie status of both himself and the ParkinGO MTC team to go handlebar-to-handlebar with his more experienced competition.
On course for a strong result having jostled his way up to sixth, Davies's hopes progressing further were scuppered by the arrival of rain on lap 14, prompting a restart in completely wet conditions. With little mileage aboard the RSV-4 on a slippery surface, Davies would drop back before crashing out entirely on lap three.
“I am satisfied of the first part of race one, but haven't found the right wet setting. I haven't made a mistake, but I wasn't able to stay up and I didn't get any early warnings either.”
Seeking better fortune in race two, Davies again punched his way to the front group, but an error prompted by him touching the wet part of the track sent him barrelling down the road and into another costly retirement.
“In race two I was going good and quite fest, but when I was sixth I have done a mistake touching the wet side of the track. I thought I could have avoided the crash but I realise that a Superbike never forgives. I am happy anyway to know that I've been fast in both races. Monza will be better.”
Shrugging off the accidents as a 'learning curve', Davies's team manager Giuliano Rovelli was otherwise excited to see his rider battling further up the field than he expected at this stage.
“The interesting side of the races is that Chaz managed to show he can fight with the 'big names' of the category already in only his second WSBK
race. I am impressed by his aggressive riding style and surprised because I thought we weren't as competitive as he has shown. Both crashes are part of the learning curve of the class. We wait for you all in Monza, our home race.”