Though the final round of his first World Superbike Championship season did not go to plan, Chaz Davies was at least able to cement the 'Rookie of the Year' title as he bid farewell to long-time collaborators ParkinGO BE1 Racing.
The Welshman joined the team towards the end of the 2009 World Supersport season when he was drafted in as a replacement for the out-of-favour Gianluca Nannelli, Davies proceeding to impress on the three-cylinder Triumph Daytona 675 by finishing fourth on his debut.
Earning a full-time ride for 2010, Davies often out-performed the unfancied bike and was a podium visitor on four occasions. A subsequent switch to Yamaha machinery in 2011 duly yielded both his and team's first WSS title, Davies dominating to win six races on a dated bike that hadn't turned a wheel since the end of the 2009 season.
Keen to keep hold of its star rider, ParkinGO graduated to World Superbike competition with Aprilia machinery in 2012 and though Davies's stuttered transition to more powerful machinery and teething issues with bike hampered them initially, the package would come on strong in the closing stages of the year.
Beginning with a podium at Aragon, Davies repeated that feat in Moscow and at the Nurburgring, the latter round yielding a magnificent first win and leading to the announcement he will switch to BMW in 2013.
In fact, such was Davies's upturn in form over the second-half of the season, he was the sixth highest scorer over the final seven rounds, a statistic that would have been stronger had he not retired from three of the final races.
Nonetheless, Davies will end his first WSBK season in an encouraging ninth overall and as the top rookie rider, but while a plum ride with BMW now awaits him, he admits he is sad to be parting ways with ParkinGO after four years together.
“The last race of the season didn't go as planned. It started with some technical problems on Friday and it went on with the crash of race one that gave me some trouble for race two. For sure this wasn't the way I wanted to conclude with the team…
“I have had great years with them and it's hard to leave them but it's also fair to take the opportunity that I got offered for next year. I really want to thank Giuliano (Rovelli) and the whole team ParkinGO….they have been like a family to me. Now I have to learn a new bike, I'll see you soon.”
It isn't known whether ParkinGO will continue in World Superbikes without Davies, though rumours have linked it to a possible satellite BMW project.