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Chaz Davies: A tough ride to the top

Chaz Davies talks to Crash.net about his racing career and first season as a full factory rider in the World Superbike Championship
By Neil Morrison

It is difficult to believe Chaz Davies is only 26 years old.

The Welshman has treaded a colourful, yet unconventional path to the World Superbike championship and 2013 marks his first full season as a factory supported rider.

Few riders can boast the variety on Chaz's CV. He has raced everything from grand prix two strokes to MotoGP prototypes in paddocks as far away as Motegi and Laguna Seca.

This eclectic experience has clearly served him well. He won the World Supersport title in 2011 and progressed with the ParkinGO team to World Superbikes in 2012.

He finished the year strongly, collecting four podiums and his first win in the class at the Nurburgring, and his efforts were rewarded with an offer from BMW to partner six-time 2012 winner Marco Melandri in the factory Motorrad squad for 2013.

After six rounds Davies sits fifth in the overall standings, 80 points behind championship leader Sylvain Guintoli and 23 behind his teammate. The highlight so far was undoubtedly his majestic double victory at round two at Aragon, the first of his career.

This was, however, sandwiched between a crash in the second race at Phillip Island and an Assen weekend where he was forever playing catch-up after a wet Friday affected his race results. Both he and Melandri have struggled to consistently fight for podium places, week in week out, but he has shown moments of brilliance.

Considering his pre-season goal of a top five finish in the championship is highly possible, does he believe he has exceeded his expectations so far?

“At times, yeah. We definitely exceeded expectations at Phillip Island and Aragon. Since then it seems like we haven't capitalised or reached our potential. We've shown speed but we have either qualified bad or had problems with set-up. [At] Assen, Monza and Donington the Friday was wet and I think it has played a part in not helping us get where we need to be on Sunday.”

Davies had the pace to fight with the leaders at Monza and scored two top six finishes at Portimão, but problems in qualifying with the weather and crashes left him without sufficient track time.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Davies, Aragon WSBK Race 2 2013
Guintoli, Magny Cours WSBK race2 2014
Guintoli, Melandri and Haslam, Magny Cours WSBK race2 2014
Guintoli, Melandri and Haslam, Magny Cours WSBK race2 2014
Guintoli, Melandri and Haslam, Magny Cours WSBK race2 2014
Guintoli, Magny Cours WSBK race2 2014
Melandri, Magny Cours WSBK race2 2014
Melandri just saves bike from falling over, Magny Cours WSBK race2 2014
Guintoli and Melandri, Magny Cours WSBK race2 2014
Guintoli and Melandri, Magny Cours WSBK race2 2014
Guintoli and Melandri, Magny Cours WSBK race2 2014
Melandri, Magny Cours WSBK race2 2014
Melandri, Magny Cours WSBK race2 2014
Melandri, Magny Cours WSBK race2 2014
Guintoli, Magny Cours WSBK race2 2014
Melandri, Magny Cours WSBK race2 2014
Guintoli, Magny Cours WSBK race2 2014
Guintoli, Magny Cours WSBK race2 2014

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mrreferee

June 19, 2013 11:44 AM

Thanks Crash. Nice to see some quality journalism with your interview of Eugene and story on Chaz. Both of these guys are true riders and gentlemen. Pleasure to have met and chatted to both. Would be great if Crash did a quality story on a different rider each week (not just the British / Irish guys), and let some of our lounge chair racers know the full story behind some of these riders. might stop them being d*ckheads (as Eugene calls them) and have them understand that if a rider does tell it like it is he is not making excuses! Have a good weekend at Imola Norge - see you at S'stone.

TalentFan

June 20, 2013 4:52 PM

No doubt in my mind of the quality of Chaz and his speed and potential. I'd say his points about set-up time and having no data are valid and not excuses - he's proved already that he has the speed, consistency and commitment to beat the best. A decent run of weekend weather will help him show his true potential. Having said that, I'm sure that next if the bike was the same next season and he had a set-up start point his results would be even better. Big question is what Dorna will do to actually ferk WSBK up into a non-competitive techno p1ss1ng contest like its managed to do with MotoGP. Already involving Mfrs in the decision-making-process and going the limited engine route suggests that Dorna are going to make a right mess of WSBK using a model that is ruining the racing in MGP. I have little faith in Dorna to manage WSBK responsibly and in the best interests of the sport. Dare say Ezpeleta's bank-balance will be great though.



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