Chaz enters top 6 at his comeback
Great performance for the Welshman on Friday in San Juan, Argentina; Chaz is in sixth position in the combined times standings, with a strong session in the morning and some fast laps in the Free Practice 2!
The first session saw the WorldSBK riders go on track on very dirty and slippery asphalt, due to the sandstorm that hit the Argentine track yesterday afternoon. Lap after lap, the times gradually improved, and Chaz was able to manage his energy and push until the end of the session. The number 7 finished in eighth position, just over the second from the top. Physically, the after-effects of the injury are felt in terms of physical strength and endurance, but he doesn’t feel too much pain!
Free Practice 1:
P 1 T. Razgatlioglu 1.38.524
P 2 S. Redding + 0.501
P 3 J. Rea + 0.544
P 8 C. Davies + 1.157
In FP 2 the track improved a lot, most of the riders lower their respective references of the morning. Chaz struggled physically in the first part of the session, but then he grits his teeth and score a couple of fast laps. In the last minute available he found out an excellent lap below 39, improving his best by over six tenths. The performance was very positive, but the strength over the long distance remains a big question mark, in view of the race. The feeling with the bike is good, no important changes have been made compared to last weekends with Loris, showing that the V4-RS Go Eleven has an excellent starting point in this season finale.
Chaz Davies (Rider):
“It’s good to be back on the bike again, I took my time this morning, and the conditions of the circuit helped me a little bit, because it was quite slippery and not in a super grip from the beginning. We had to build our confidence and this helped me to build my confidence with the track and with the bike. I was quite happy with the performance of this morning, I don’t have too much pain, but I didn’t feel very agile on the bike. I couldn’t do absolutely nothing since Catalunya, so today it has been quite a shock to my body system. In the afternoon I felt like my form dept a little bit, I felt like I was struggling to do what I normally do on the bike. Anyway I was fast and I am really happy with the performance, the bike was working not too bad, I think we can improve a bit and I can definitely improve myself, too. I just need to let my body adapt to come back on a top form again.”
Chaz suffers with his condition, finishing just outside the top 10
A difficult day today for Team Go Eleven on the San Juan track. The morning started with a technical problem that forced us to miss FP 3 almost completely, to then finish Race 1 in twelfth position, gritting Chaz’s teeth and finishing the race, despite being really proved at the arrival in the box.
The FP 3 were affected, in fact, by a mechanical issue with the engine, which forced Chaz to finish the session early on the track. Unfortunately, the problem occurred at the beginning of the session, thus forcing the Welsh rider to complete only one chrono lap in the thirty minutes available.
Free Practice 3:
P 1 T. Razgatlioglu 1.37.239
P 2 S. Redding + 0.405
P 3 J. Rea + 0.525
P 18 C. Davies + 2.734
For Superpole, the technical problem was solved, and Chaz was able to take part to the session right from the start. The team, together with the rider, chose to compete in the round with the race tyre, the SCX, which, on this particular grip circuit, provided performance similar to the qualifying one. Chaz, in his best lap, turns on some excellent split times in the first two sectors, but then he lost something in the second half of the track. On the finish line he is thirteenth, fifth row. Not an optimal position for the start, but still the lap time is good, less than a second from the top, considering that the firsts took advantage of the Qualifying tyre.
P 1 S. Redding 1.37.617
P 2 T. Razgatlioglu + 0.183
P 3 A. Bassani + 0.221
P 13 C. Davies + 0.975
In Race 1, Chaz unfortunately suffered from the lack of physical training in the last four weeks, as well as the bit of pain caused by the injury to his ribs, resulting in a not very constant race pace. After a complicated start, which saw him going back to the rear of the group, he slowly recovered to fight for the Top Ten group. The overtakings were difficult, however, with a condition that was not excellent. In some parts of the race, the Welsh rider was able to sign some excellent laps in line with the Top 5, but then he had to defend himself from the middle of the race onwards. In the final laps he managed to grab the twelfth position, at the end of the battle, won against Laverty. Definitely not a good race, but returning from an injury is never easy and already having finished and passed under the checkered flag is a result!
P 1 T. Razgatlioglu 34’29.749
P 2 J. Rea + 5.295
P 3 M. Rinaldi + 9.417
P 12 C. Davies + 36.241
Tomorrow there will be two more exciting races from the WorldSBK circus; Chaz will have one night to rest, think about today’s race and tomorrow he will grit his teeth again to finish the weekend. Hold on Chaz!
Chaz Davies (Rider):
“It has been a difficult day, starting with the engine problem in FP 3, no laps this morning; then I felt a little bit strange at the beginning of the Qualifying, so I didn’t have time to put the Q tyre, which conditioned my starting position. At the start of the Race I had a problem with the clutch, where the bike was moving even with the clutch fully engaged, so we had a lot of small problems. Then I think the biggest thing that conditioned my Race today was my physical condition; it’s not pain, just a general bike fitness. I really suffered like a dog, I know that actually my bike was capable of a much better result, but really I couldn’t do anymore from a physical point of view. I am a quarter of the man I was when I felt good; it’s disappointing to have to manage my race like this, to manage my energy level, but I am still trying to recover as best as possible. Anyway, considering the injury I had, it was not a guarantee to be here, so we are here, we finished the Race, of course it’s easy to be disappointed, but in the end we saw the chequered flag!”
Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
“Our race today may seem colorless from the outside, but Chaz has just returned from injury, he hasn’t been training for a month. Then you can imagine the pains his ribs cause. I’m proud of him. he managed to finish the race and this is our restart point. Unfortunately today we were not competitive for the positions that matter, but in some laps he proved to be fast; keep the pace of the others when you are not at 100 % physically it is not easy. We will take advantage of this weekend to be ready in Mandalika, for the last Round of the Championship! ”
Chaz gives it his all to finish 9th
A growing Sunday for Chaz Davies and Team Go Eleven. A bad start affected the result of the Superpole Race, but in Race 2 he was able to grit his teeth to the end and defend his position in the Top Ten, proving to be faster and more consistent than on Saturday.
In the Warm Up, which took place in cool conditions, with only sixteen degrees in the air, Chaz had a good start setting several laps on 38, finishing in seventh position. A nice start to the day that gave impetus to the whole Team, showing that the welsh rider could have had something to say in the two races.
P 1 G. Gerloff 1.37.719
P 2 S. Redding + 0.016
P 3 J. Rea + 0.141
P 7 C. Davies + 0.849
In Superpole Race the start influenced the result, negatively; after the first corner the Welsh rider was at the back of the standing. From then on he tried to come back to enter the top 9, and take advantage of the grid inversion, but in just 10 laps he was unable to achieve more than a thirteenth position. Certainly not a good result, considering the pace shown, but at least he gained more confidence in view of Race 2.
P 1 T. Razgatlioglu 16’20.713
P 2 S. Redding + 0.046
P 3 J. Rea +3.419
P 13 C. Davies + 18.470
In Race 2 Chaz started from the twelfth box, finding himself inside the first corner, due to the missed start of Alex Lowes, caused by the hand injury. On the first lap, the Go Eleven rider maintained his position and immediately overtook two opponents, showing himself to be more aggressive and faster than yesterday’s race. After the first ten laps he feels a bit of physical fatigue and discomfort in the ribs, but still manages to get into the fight with Gerloff and Haslam. He passes both of them, throws himself in pursuit of Locatelli, but at the end he has to give way slightly. Gerloff overtakes Chaz again, but Davies manages to defend himself well from Bautista’s return. Thus ends in ninth position, with a gap halved from the first compared to Race 1. A race that gives a good spirit in view of the last round of the season, in Indonesia, in about a month, when Chaz will have recovered completely from the injury!
P 1 S. Redding 34’26.120
P 2 J. Rea + 2.428
P 3 T. Razgatlioglu + 3.834
P 9 C. Davies + 19.409
WorldSBK is preparing to face the last Round of this long and exciting 2021 season, on a completely new circuit; the Mandalika International Street Circuit, from 19th to 21st November, will be the scene of the World Championship challenge. For Chaz it will be the last race before ending his career, Team Go Eleven will do everything to give him the possibility to show his best and leave a good memory to the fans!
Chaz Davies (Rider):
“This morning the feeling was a little bit better than yesterday, physically I mean. So, I was able to go quite fast for a couple of laps, but I still had to manage the races. In Superpole Race, I found myself on the outside in Turn 1, as a consequence of the grid position, and basically I got taken a little bit wide and I wasn’t in a good position. My pace was good at the end, and I felt OK with the bike, but I was way too far back. Then we made some small changes for the second Race, with Alex Lowes out of the starting grid, we moved up a grid position and this was much better. I have been on the inside instead of the outside, and this made a big difference to my first lap. My start wasn’t great, but I was still with a good group at the beginning. At one point I thought I might go to catch Locatelli, but then I was more than empty, I put everything into that. I really suffered physically, but I am satisfied with the job that we did, satisfied with how the bike felt, I know it’s capable of more, but with the physical limitations, that’s our pace at the moment. I think we can be quite proud of that ride and thanks to the Team, to all the guys, and I am sorry of not feeling a little bit better and giving a bit more, but now we have a few weeks break, This is a good opportunity to come back fit again!”
Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
“Chaz was really empty at the end of the race, he did his best and put his all into it…when we hugged in the Parc Fermé I realized that he really put his heart, beyond the fatigue and beyond the pain. It’s really good to see a rider that, after announcing his retirement, still give so much and suffer for our sport. Now there are 4 weeks before Indonesia, he will have time to get back to training and be 100% for the grand finale. We are really excited and we can’t wait to Race in this new circuit”