Chaz is back on top at Magny Cours
Great Friday at Go Eleven! In the two free practice sessions, number 7 Chaz Davies proved competitive and hungry, always in the very first positions of the standings in all conditions.
FP 1 starts in mixed conditions, as already happened several times in this 2021. The rain wet the asphalt during the night, remaining wet until fifteen minutes to the end of the session. The riders’ work was therefore concentrated in a few laps, on rather “slow” laptimes. All the protagonists preferred not to take excessive risks, also considering only the dry line on track. Chaz, however, immediately proved to be confident with the bike, improving his standings lap by lap. The final result sees him in eighth position, due to a mistake on the last lap, when the other riders were able to take advantage of the improvement of the asphalt. No problem, however, considering the climatic improvement expected for the afternoon.
Free Practice 1:
P 1 J. Rea 1.38.402
P 2 M. Van Der Mark + 0.140
P 3 A. Lowes + 0.385
P 8 C. Davies + 1.446
For the second session, the track conditions are optimal; about 26 degrees in the air, just under 40°C on the asphalt and the shining sun to illuminate the WorldSBK. The Welsh rider enters the track with great determination; after a couple of laps on the high 37, he manages to lower a few more tenths by taking the lead. He maintains the leadership until the final minutes, repeating his best lap several times, even improving it by a few cents, with different tyre compounds. The pace seems excellent, but unfortunately with the time lost in the morning, it was not possible to make a real comparison between the Pirelli compounds here to France. In the last five minutes, Toprak manages to open a little gap, but Chaz finishes in the top 5, obtaining the Top Speed (300.8 km/h) and showing to be the fastest in the second sector.
Free Practice 2:
P 1 T. Razgatlioglu 1.37.138
P 2 S. Redding + 0.208
P 3 J. Rea + 0.288
P 4 C. Davies + 0.334
A really happy day for the light-blue Ducati, which returns to the positions left before Chaz’s injury in Misano. It will be necessary to confirm tomorrow, but at least tonight the guys from Go Eleven could go to sleep with a smile!
Chaz Davies (Rider):
“It was a really positive first day, I felt good with the bike instantly! This morning session was conditioned a lot by the overnight rain we had, but this afternoon we were able to start working on our set-up for weekend for the races. I think the bike was in a good window from the first laps, so good job to the boys that put together a set-up for Magny-Cours that we thought it could be a good starting point. I just felt quite solid and consistent all through the session. Look forward to tomorrow!”
Race 1: Hard fight, but Team Go Eleven is Best Independent!
A hard day, with a few thousandths to make the difference between the riders, the one of WorldSBK on the French circuit of Magny-Cours. both Superpole and Race 1 gave a great show on the track, with overtakes and line crossings at very high speed.
The morning opens with the FP 3 completely dry, but in cool conditions. Team Go Eleven focused on a comparison between the different tyres, starting work on a softer one, then ending with the “classic” SC0. However, Chaz seemed fine on the bike, so much so that he remained close to the top, with several laps on the 37 pace.
Free Practice 3:
P 1 S. Redding 1.36.393
P 2 T. Razgatlioglu + 0.285
P 3 G. Gerloff + 0.316
P 7 C. Davies + 0.882
For the Superpole, scheduled at 11.10, the sun warms the new asphalt of the Nevers track; Chaz and Go Eleven choose to take advantage of both qualifying tyres immediately. At the first exit the Welsh rider cannot find the right starting point and ends a rather slow lap. The second attempt is the fundamental one; just one lap to decide most of the results of the French weekend. The number 7, while improving his previous best by more than a second, takes home an eleventh place on the grid, which earned him the fourth row (which later became tenth following the injury of Mahias). Not the best in view of the races, but it’s a position that can still allow the Team to fight for main positions. The only regret is that, with only a few tenths better, two rows could have been climbed. The race, however, at Magny-Cours, allows for great overtaking, so anything is still possible.
P 1 J. Rea 1.35.683
P 2 T. Razgatlioglu + 0.101
P 3 T. Sykes + 0.238
P 11 C. Davies + 1.188
Before Race 1 the asphalt temperature rises considerably, reaching around 40 ° C. An almost compulsory choice of tyre, with all the riders on the grid opting for the “medium” solution, the SCX development seen for the first time ever at Misano. Chaz loses two positions at the start, remaining a bit closed on the first lap, then a very long group of riders is created fighting from sixth to thirteenth position. Many ride on the same times, with overtaking, braking and intersections at every corner; the Welsh rider however, always managed to stay in the top positions of the group, fighting above all with Redding, Sykes, Bassani and Bautista. In the final laps Davies showed his teeth and manages to close well on BMW’s Englishman, opening the battle with Bassani and Haslam. Leon is passed out of Adelaide, while Bassani undergoes the overtaking of the light-blue Ducati at turn 15. Best Independent Team is on the finish line! Go Eleven returns to the Parc Fermé after Race 2 in Assen; still not the result the Team aspires to, but finishing races like this is always a great satisfaction!
P 1 T. Razgatlioglu 34’06.037
P 2 J. Rea + 4.467
P 3 A. Locatelli + 10.285
P 7 C. Davies + 20.067
For tomorrow the Team will try to improve a little bit on the braking and the feeling at the front, so as to allow Chaz to attack from the first laps, especially in Superpole Race. Improving the grid position and then doing a good Race 2 is the goal!
Chaz Davies (Rider):
“It was an OK Race! To be honest I am not really happy because I felt like we had a little bit better pace than the one we showed. I was just struggling a bit in the group, to ride my lines and my style. It was a bit difficult to stop the bike and reacts with the other riders in the breaking area. So, I had to give some margin there and then it was affecting my ability to set-up passes and to make passes. The Race was a bit frustrating in some ways, but of course it was good to finish Best Independent in the end; overall the bike didn’t feel too bad, we had a couple of things that we can work on for tomorrow, but overall the main thing is to try to understand how we can race a little bit better with the other bikes.”
Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
“The practices had given us hope for something more for the race, but evidently the track conditions and temperatures were so different that, they made us losing a bit of performance. Chaz still managed, in the final, to take the victory as Best Independent, a result that is very important to us and we had fun watching him fight with the factory Hondas, BMWs, Redding and Bassani!
Top 5 end of the weekend with a second win for Best Independent Team
A great Sunday, that of Team Go Eleven and its rider Chaz Davies, achieving the goal of the best Independent Team in all the races of the weekend and finishing Race 2 in fifth place.
In the Warm Up, the first session of the morning, Chaz goes on track with the SCX at the rear, to evaluate the race pace in view of the Superpole Race. Since first laps he has a good feeling with the Ducati V4-RS, proving to be fast and in line with the leaders.
P 1 T. Razgatlioglu 1.36.364
P 2 J. Rea + 0.319
P 3 A. Locatelli + 0.430
P 8 C. Davies + 0.904
Superpole Race, in the middle of the morning the asphalt rises by degrees, but it is still not so hot as to guarantee the maximum performance of the softer tyre. On the grid, Chaz chooses the SCX, going against the trend with the choice of riders in the first three rows. The Welshman starts well, but is then pushed a lot inside the Adelaide hairpin, thus not being able to take advantage of the best line possible. In the first laps he is immediately aggressive, fighting and overtaking Sykes and Mahias. In the comeback he finds himself fighting with Rinaldi, the two riders “from Borgo Panigale” exchange positions several times, but the Welshman wins. At the end he manages to stretch chasing Bautista, passes Haslam and then concludes in eighth place. One row better and three positions gained compared to the original grid. The race pace was in line for the Top 5, to stay with Locatelli, but the time lost on the first lap did not allow us to fight with him. All postponed to Race 2!
P 1 J. Rea 16’07.436
P 2 T. Razgatlioglu + 0.148
P 3 A. Lowes + 5.282
P 8 C. Davies + 9.888
In Race 2 the heat is really high, with temperatures around 30 degrees in the air. All the front riders opt for the 557, the same one used yesterday in the Main Race. Chaz starts well and manages to maintain his position during the first lap. From the start he feels much more confidence on the front, so much so that he immediately overtakes the two Honda HRCs. On the third lap he conquers the position on Rinaldi and sets off in pursuit of the Van Der Mark-Locatelli duo. Davies sets his fastest lap at 37 and a half and closes the gap created previously. Towards the middle of the race, the Yamaha Italian rider comes into contact with the BMW rider, touching the Dutchman’s front brake, generating a great scare. Luckily they both remain on track, but Chaz manages to overtake Van Der Mark. From then on the chase begins on Locatelli, the two ride on the same pace, recovering almost two seconds overall on Redding. At the finish line Go Eleven is fifth, Best Independent team for the second race in a row, and capable of an excellent performance that relaunches Chaz among the protagonists for the season finale!
P 1 T. Razgatlioglu 34’09.849
P 2 J. Rea + 2.908
P 3 A. Locatelli + 8.406
P 5 C. Davies + 10.734
The next WorldSBK Round is Barcelona, Montmelò Circuit, in two weekends, where the three back-to-back races will begin: from Catalonia, we will move to Andalusia, Jerez circuit, to conclude the European races in Portimao!
Chaz Davies (Rider):
Good solid Race! I didn’t have the same troubles as yesterday, where I was struggling to stop the bike. To be honest I think it was because the group was a little bit less busy than it was yesterday. It helps when you can do your own things and ride the bike in the way that we know how. I tried to follow Locatelli, to look for an opportunity, but he was solid, he had a good pace and not making mistakes. I lost a little the ground with him and then I came back. At the same time we were catching Scott, so I thought “I let Locatelli set the pace” and in the last laps I tried to find an opportunity to pass, but I didn’t have much more than that. We suffered a little bit with grip, but the pace of our bike was similar to Scott, so I am happy with that!”
Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
“We are back in our positions after two negative weekends, we needed it and it must a good push for the next races. The team worked well for Race 2, managing to solve the problem of yesterday’s race, and Chaz gave his best with two excellent performances, without making mistakes and collecting the maximum result. Analyzing the race, we discover that in both races today, from the third lap, to the finish line, our gap with the third classified has always been shortened, and this means that the we have been out of the podium battle due to the grid position. On this track the gaps were really close, so much so that taking a small gap, even just 2 seconds, it is almost impossible to recover it. I’m happy of what we have achieved here, and we go to Barcelona to reconfirm ourselves, and maybe aim for something more!”