After setting few laps on day two at the Jerez tests due to a muscle spasm affecting his back, Chaz Aruba Ducati’s Davies continued testing at Portimao, despite still having issues to deal with in his physical condition.

He certainly did not think it had got any better after Jerez. “Better? Not a hope, unfortunately,” he said. “It needs some good physio between now and Phillip Island. A little bit to do but I have got to get it ironed out.”

The very nature of Portimao – dramatically undulating, bumpy in places and with lots of changes of direction across the bike – did not help him get back to normal either.

“This year I rode here in the summer injured and not feeling quite fantastic these couple of days either, so this track is probably one of the worst, I would say,” stated Davies. “You are jumping all over the bike and the rear is kicking quite a lot and it felt like I was on a motocross bike at times.

“It jars up through the back. It is definitely the last thing I need. But anyway, I am happy just to get some laps here because a couple of days ago I didn’t really think I would be doing that.”

Davies first had a flare up from an occasional problem with his back, linked to two slightly swollen discs in his vertebra, in he middle of his post Christmas training regime. “I had a twinge a couple of weeks ago so I had a week off the bike, and it came back pretty quickly, on the first day riding the bike. I did not expect that from that first twinge. Normally rest is what does it.

“Physio and rest is what really improve it. But obviously I did not do a hell of a lot of resting just before the start of the season. I was still training and managing not to put too much load on the back but it did not really come good for the test, which is a pain in the arse.”

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