Just hours after claiming a remarkable first World Superbike Championship victory at the Nurburgring, it has been confirmed that Chaz Davies will join Marco Melandri in the factory-assisted BMW team for the 2013 season.
Formally announced after a series of rumours developed across the WSBK paddock in recent days, the Welshman will switch to the manufacturer for next season as a replacement for Leon Haslam.
A deal that was signed before Davies broke his victory duck in impressive fashion around the German circuit, the win is merely the latest in a series of strong results achieved by the reigning World Supersport Champion in his maiden season aboard the ParkinGO MTC Aprilia team.
With one win and a further three podiums to his name already, Davies's reward is a lucrative deal with BMW to ride alongside current title contender Melandri, joining what will be a reorganised team following the earlier announcement that the manufacturer is switching its factory support to the 'Italia' operation.
“We are happy that we can welcome Chaz to the BMW Motorrad family”, said BMW Italia manager Andrea Buzzoni. “On his way through the ranks, Chaz showed how talented and fast he is. His title win in the Supersport World Championship in 2011 was impressive proof of that. And in his current debut season in the Superbike World Championship, it did not take him long to win his first race.
“We are convinced that Marco and Chaz will form a premium rider line-up, and that in combination with the BMW S 1000 RR, we will have one of the strongest packages in the World Championship.”
Davies's signing comes after Ben Spies reportedly turned down a deal to return to the World Superbike Championship, the American now expected to stay in MotoGP for next season.
Haslam, who will leave BMW after two seasons, is now strongly tipped to join Honda for 2013, though there is no word as to whether the ParkinGO team will continue without Davies.