Aruba Ducati’s Chaz Davies won’t forget the first ever WorldSBK round at Villicum, for good and bad reasons.
The bad ran to a difficult qualifying, a blown engine in morning warm up on Sunday, a fast crash in race one, and a tough race two that saw him finish just off the podium.
The good ran to getting a healthy 24 point advantage over Michael van der Mark in the fight for eventual second place in the championship, which will be decided at the final round.
“It felt like a bit of a salvage job in the second race,” said Davies. “I got decent points out of it in the championship obviously and re-extended that lead again. It was not an ideal weekend and definitely a couple of the technical faults did let us down, starting on the back foot yesterday in the race and then putting myself in a position to make bold passes, kicking myself for trying. But it is also a consequence of starting that bit further back on the grid.”
After starting race one in ninth position, Davies was also disadvantaged by his crash as he started even further back in race two.
“Today was no different, as I was starting eleventh, but I got myself through nice and early into a reasonable position, I tried to pull in Xavi but he rode really good. Then Marco came by me. I saw the gap behind me was pretty big and I did not want to risk too much. I thought I had a little bit in me but I did not want to risk too much to have a repeat of yesterday and just took some solid points. Overall I did not feel like it was an amazing weekend but I think that we have better potential than we showed.”
The big story after Rea was crowned champion after race one in France is that fight for second.
“I think it is 24 points now, advantage, so it is pretty healthy going in. Qatar is a track I enjoy and I have had some pretty good results there, especially 2016 when I did the double and last year when I was double second. We have some solid form there from the past so we will take it as it comes. Hopefully we will have a smoother weekend because this weekend was a little bit too topsy-turvy with the technical problems, so it kind of conditions your weekend a little bit.”