Chaz Davies: A tough ride to the top

“It's the same for everyone but when you're going with a new bike to a track where I haven't got a year's data behind me. You miss out on that, you miss an hour and a half on the first day and it makes the rest of the weekend more difficult.

“It's not been a complete disaster. At Donington we didn't have the speed full stop. We were missing a few tenths there all weekend but at Monza we were fast, we just didn't capitalise and I ended up crashing in the second race. I had hoped to at least be on the podium there.”

Davies has raced for underfunded, smaller teams for the majority of his career and the new position comes with added pressure. Does he feel the expectations of being a factory rider have been raised this season?

“I wouldn't say so. I would probably say since Aragon, but in general not really. I just try and do my best each weekend. The expectations in a factory team are obviously greater than in a private team but at the end of the day I just try and get the best result for myself, for nobody else, and make the most of the opportunity.”

On a personal level though he certainly seems at home and insists the change from the Park and Go team, where he spent the last three seasons, has been seamless. “It's been very easy. It took a while to get to know everybody but I feel like part of the furniture really. Only a couple of races [into the season] but it's been pretty easy going.”

The bike on the other hand has taken a little more time to adapt to. His and Melandri's styles and statures are so different that, in his own words, “there's not a lot to compare” in terms of set up information.

“The data sharing is available for the both of us. Our mechanics will a little bit but as riders we look after ourselves. We don't really cross data too much, not personally anyway.”

The BMW is also a totally different animal to the RSV Aprilia he rode last year.

“There's not one thing you can put your finger on, you honestly can't compare them. They're two superbikes but they have different characteristics and you've got to learn the nuances of each bike and learn to find whatever it takes to go quick on the track.

“A lot of work has been done with the electronics to make the bike more rideable. I think with Troy [Corser] and Leon [Haslam, who both rode for the team in 2011], Leon and Marco last year, it's just a continual development and I would say the bike is in a pretty good place at the minute for that.”

One definite benefit of riding within the factory ranks is the flow of new parts and technology coming your way. And the extra time provided to test them. The BMW Motorrad outfit have attended tests between races and the team tested at the scene of his double victory in Aragon before the Portuguese round. Having that extra track time that was previously taken away by wet qualifying sessions has been essential.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Davies, Aragon WSBK Race 2 2013
Hayden, AMA Superbike, SBK, 2002.
Hayden, AMA Superbike, SBK, 2002.
Hayden, AMA Superbike, SBK, 2002.
Hayden, AMA Superbike, SBK, 2002.
Hayden, AMA Superbike, SBK, 2002.
Hayden, AMA Superbike, SBK, 2002.
Hayden, AMA Superbike, SBK, 2002.
Hayden, AMA Superbike, SBK, 2002.
Hayden, AMA Superbike, SBK, 2002.
Hayden, AMA Superbike, SBK, 2002.
Chaz Davies, Ducati [Credit: Ducati Media]
Savadori, Imola WSBK 2017
Savadori, Imola WSBK 2017
Hayden, Imola WSBK 2017
Sykes, Imola WSBK 2017
Jonathan Rea, Imola WSBK 2017
Alex Lowes, Imola WSBK 2017

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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.


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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