Chaz Davies says his triumphant return to the top of the World Superbike Championship podium is all the more poignant in a season that has seen him struggle for consistently good results on the Ducati Panigale V4 R.

The Welshman – runner-up to Jonathan Rea in 2016 and 2018 - is a seasoned winner in World Superbikes and came into his fifth campaign as a Ducati rider with high hopes on the all-new, much anticipated Panigale V4 R.

However, whilst new team-mate Alvaro Bautista was an instant winner on the machine, Davies has struggled to demonstrate front-running performance, picking up only three podiums prior to the US round.

Nevertheless, Davies not only had the measure of the Spaniard at Laguna Seca, he was able to take the fight to Rea in the final race of the weekend having already finished second to him in race one and the Superpole Race, becoming only the fourth different race winner of 2019.

Ending a drought that stretches to Aragon in 2018, Davies says he was beginning to doubt his abilities but credited the Ducati team for helping him turn his season around.

“This win really means a lot to me, because it’s been a long hard season so far. The last time I won was almost a year and a half ago and it gets to a point where you wonder whether you can still win or not.

“It’s just proof that if you keep plugging away and working hard then the results sooner or later will come and today was that day. Finally, we got it right, my team did an excellent job, in particular at the end of the FP1 session on Friday morning when we made a big change to the bike’s set-up.

“To be honest, I wasn’t sure I had the pace to win though, because Johnny’s pace in race 1 was strong and consistent while I chose the wrong tyre.

“Even so I wasn’t sure if this tyre would make the difference. I’m very happy and thrilled to get this result going into the summer break!”

Davies' win ironically comes at a time of difficulty for the Aruba.it Ducati team in the wake of Bautista's own slump in form, the Spaniard a once-dominant championship leader. Davies still faces ground to make up in the overall standings, but his US success means he has progressed to seventh overall and he is now only 36 points adrift of third overall.

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