Chaz Davies says completing a triple-double at the end of the 2016 World Superbike championship but failing to take the runner-up spot in the final riders' standings creates mixed emotions but provides a strong platform to attack winter testing and the start of next season.
The Aruba.it Racing Ducati ride became the first person to win six consecutive World Superbike races since Troy Bayliss in 2006 (who went on to win eight in a row) but missed out on second place in the riders' championship by two points after champion Jonathan Rea allowed Tom Sykes to pass him for second place on the final lap of the last race of the year to give Kawasaki a one-two.
Davies, who has won seven of the eight races since the summer break, says Ducati must keep pushing until the start of 2017 to retain the competitive edge it has pushed out over the past two months as he looks to set-up another world title challenge next year.
“To do the double here, a circuit where we struggled last year, is a sign of much we turned things around,” Davies said. “In the first half of the race I was just managing the gap, but after the restart it was a fast, short race. It was difficult to see the pit-board and I wasn't looking at the big screens, so I didn't really know how to manage the race, but then I saw Rea was coming back so I pushed a bit more in the last laps and did all I could to bring home the win.
“It's bittersweet, because it wasn't enough to secure second place in the championship, but I saw that coming.
"We've been the fastest out there since the summer break, and we'll try to keep improving everyday, take it into next year and be as consistent as possible to get the big trophy in the end.”
Davies ends 2016 with 11 wins to his name, two more than champion Rea and six more than Sykes, but perhaps counting the cost of three DNFs which curtailed his title hopes over the final rounds of the year.