Chaz Davies had a torrid time in the final few laps of the opening Losail race, losing grip from his front tyre at a key time and then being caught out by the last lap board going out a lap too early.
Some riders saw it and rolled off over the line, some saw correct signals and gave it more for the last lap. Davies explained his predicament.
“I was sort of marking VDM and then ran into tyre trouble with seven laps to go,” said the Welshman. “Really shredded it on the right hand side. Nothing for it, because the thing was wrecked. I came across the start-finish line and I thought it was the last lap, closed the throttle and then van der Mark goes steaming by. I saw that Xavi Fores backed off in turn one as well, and he was cruising. I thought ‘what is going on here?’ but VDM stayed on it, as did Baz.”
Davies explained why he thinks some saw the board and some did not.
“Some people read their boards, some read the screen, and some people read the tower display. I think I saw final lap, not on my pit board. There were no marshals waving flags as they do normally at the end. I gave away a point for that and it was kind of annoying.
“Xavi backed off big time and he went off the track, and ended up like 13th and lost a front row start for tomorrow. Should they have called the result a lap early but it has changed my race, changed Xavi’s race a lot. I just heard that they showed the final lap board two times, because it changes my starting position tomorrow and gives VDM another point.”
It was a tough race one in any case weekend for a rider more used to podiums in the Qatar night-time than most.
“I think that there was three Ducatis and we all had pretty much the same pace then, on pretty much equal spec bikes,” said Davies. “In a straight up fight we would have probably finished fifth, sixth and seventh then. I got distanced at the beginning.
“I caught both guys in front a little bit, but obviously I have a championship position to protect as well. I was not going to throw points away to try and be the top Ducati today. But that seems to be the level of the bike here. We are really struggling to get the thing to hook in the middle of the corner. It seems that we are just missing too much grip from the rear.
“Off throttle on throttle first touch it is not going, not working. Obviously this is the last race for this bike but it has definitely performed better round here in the past.”