Posted: 16 Feb 2014
Former World Supersport Chapion in 2011, Chaz Davies is now riding for the Factory Ducati squad in WSBK.
The man from the Welsh borders has had an up and down career, but always shown considerable natural speed. After winning the World Supersport title, his future began to look bright as he stepped up to the World Series with the satellite Aprilia outfit, ParkinGO.
The start of his World Superbike career was tough, struggling in the first few races until a breakthrough in the second race at Donington Park where he finished seventh.
He went on to score a number of top ten finishes until he took his first podium in Aragon. He followed this up with further podiums at Moscow Raceway and the Nurburgring, where he took his long-fought debut victory in the second race. This put the Welshman firmly on the radar of factory teams for 2013.
Signing for BMW to partner former Grand Prix runner up Marco Melandri, Davies got off to a strong start with a fourth place finish at Phillip Island. He then went on to dominate at Aragon taking the win in both races. Three further podiums and one more win saw Davies take fifth in the championship after what he often described as a learning year on the BMW.
With BMW pulling out of the series at the end of last year, Davies had no other option but to switch team and found himself joining the Factory Ducati outfit for 2014. Luckily for him, he’s kept the same team personnel around him so the only thing he’ll need to get used to this year is the bike. Although jumping from a screaming four-cylinder to a high-revving twin and working out how it uses tyres differently, will take some adapting.
Chaz Davies is a rider with heaps of talent and if he'd managed to gel with the BMW all season like he did at Aragon, there’s no doubt he’d have been challenging Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty for the title.
Winning the same amount of races as the super-experienced Marco Melandri in 2013, Davies clearly has more to show and despite a long career, is very much still on the up.
The sheer speed of the Kawasaki and Aprilia perhaps rules Davies out of a shot at the title this season but this is the Factory Ducati, and everything's up for grabs. One thing's for sure, you’d be foolish to bet against Davies putting in similar kinds of performances to those he put in on the BMW S1000RR.
As far as British racers in World Superbikes go, Davies is a talent. And let’s not forget that a fast Brit teamed with a Factory Ducati has been a very good combination numerous times in the past.
Let's hope Davies will be adding his name to Ducati's championship titles just as Fogarty, Hodgson and Toseland have done for the Italian manufacturer in the past.