In FP 1 the riders face the ups and downs of the Los Arcos circuit for the first time ever, looking for the right set-up to soften the tricks of the track. The many bumps, also visible through the screen, immediately put the protagonists to the test. Chaz and the Go Eleven Team found the right pace right from the beginning, so much so that the light-blue Ducati number 7 was among the top 6, improving its laptime lap after lap. Towards the end of the session Chaz touches the low 38, entering the Top 6.
Free Practice 1:
P 1 J. Rea 1.37.629
P 2 T. Razgatlioglu +0.123
P 3 S. Redding. +0.164
P 6 C. Davies +0.600
In FP 2 the sun shines strongly above Navarre with its 32 degrees in the air, almost 50 on the asphalt. After a small problem at the beginning of the session, that forced Go Eleven to loose the first 10 minutes, Chaz tested a new tyre solution, both at the front and at the rear, in order to obtain as much data as possible in view of the two main races. In the afternoon, due to the higher temperatures, hardly anyone was able to be close to the times of the morning. However, the Welsh rider finished again in the top six, finding a certain consistency in performance in the various conditions, limiting the gap to around half a second.
Free Practice 2:
P 1 T. Razgatlioglu 1.38.134
P 2 S. Redding + 0.219
P 3 M. Rinaldi + 0.336
P 6 C. Davies + 0.502
With a view to Saturday, the technical staff will work to improve a few tenths, focusing mainly on the confidence on the front. For tomorrow, no strategies, only one goal: to have a good Superpole!
FP 3: 09.00 – 09.30
Race 1: 14.00
Chaz Davies (Rider):
“Pretty solid day, I am happy to be back in Top 6. Obviously, in Most it was a lot more difficult, but now the bike seems to work reasonably well. There is a little bit to improve myself and clean up, but overall the starting point was a positive one. We need to work a bit with the guys tonight, to see what to improve and what we can make. We have to decide the tyre plan for tomorrow, too. Overall I am much happier than the last time, and physically I feel a good step better!”
Today it was a different day compared to the last races; Chaz had a great Superpole, staying at the top for a few minutes, then Race 1 ends in Turn 9 after loosing the front.
The morning begins with a slightly struggling FP 3; Chaz rode with the same racing tyres throughout the session. As often happens at this time of year, the morning session are not very indicative of the real values in the field. All the riders are really close, so much so that with three tenths less the Welsh rider would have finished in the top 6.
Free Practice 3:
P 1 A. Locatelli 1.37.060
P 2 S. Redding + 0.236
P 3 J. Rea + 0.356
P 14 C. Davies + 1.186
In Superpole the goal is the first two rows, despite being a very difficult session for Go Eleven in this 2021. Chaz starts immediately in a strong way; with the first qualifying tire he enters the Top Ten, improving again on the second lap, placing himself in seventh position. But it is on his second attempt with the Pirelli Q that he gives his best; a spectacular first lap, close to Rea, and, when he crosses the finish line … it’s a provisional Pole! It lasts a few minutes, but it is a great satisfaction. In the end he finishes fifth, in the second row, hitting an excellent box in view of Race 1 and Superpole Race.
P 1 J. Rea 1.36.122
P 2 S. Redding + 0.093
P 3 T. Sykes + 0.424
P 5 C. Davies + 0.571
Race 1 starts with excellent expectations for Go Eleven, given the positive trend seen in all the races of this 2021. Chaz loses a couple of positions at the start, triggers the battle with Van Der Mark and Mahias, then once overtaken, he goes on pursuit of Sykes and Lowes. He returns under the duo in a few corners, demonstrating a stronger pace, without having the opportunity, however, to attack. On lap seven, in Turn 9, he loses the front and ends his race with a crash. Really a shame because the Top 5 and the Best independent Rider were clearly within reach. Probably the crash was also affected by a wrong choice of front tyres; two other riders opted for the experimental solution, ending the race on the ground, and, despite being a tyre used in other races, here it was not the best onel.
Tomorrow there will be two more opportunities to take home good points!
P 1 S. Redding 37’50.793
P 2 J. Rea + 2.519
P 3 T. Razgatlioglu + 5.894
CRASH (DNF) C. Davies
Chaz Davies (Rider):
“Today it was a mix day. I was very happy with there performance in Qualifying, we did a good job to be in the middle of the second row and I thought that was a good opportunity to put together a good race and to at least see the front guys and see if we have enough for a podium. Unfortunately my start wasn’t fantastic, I lost some positions, till ninth and then I was on the back of the battle for fifth, I was in P 7. I was waiting the opportunity to overtake and I think having two rider in front of me it was causing some difficulties with the front tyre and the temperature. For this reason I started to struggle a little bit with the front, then it closed on me. So, honestly, I didn’t expect that, maybe we need to look at using a different tyre option tomorrow to try to understand what we can do to avoid this. It was disappointing because I felt quite good with the bike and I felt we could have a Top 5 result today. Anyway there are two opportunities tomorrow!”
Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
“In qualifying Chaz surprised me, when he scored the provisional pole, nobody expected it, also because the FP 3 had gone badly. For the Superpole we opt to change the set up of the bike. So, it means Chaz had to push with the Q tyre on a bike without expected feelings and reactions. For the race he chose a solution of development tyre on the front, a tyre that had given good results in previous races, but here in Navarra, if we go to analyze, the only 3 riders who chose it for the race, then crashed. So maybe it wasn’t the best solution for the track conditions. Today we lost an opportunity to recover points on Gerloff for the Independent title, but we came back competitive and this gives us motivation for tomorrow.”
A bad day, for Go Eleven and Chaz Davies; unfortunately the wheel of fortune does not turn, and even today, after a good Superpole Race, in the main race a crash on the first lap precludes the possibility of a result. Even before starting to analyze today, Team Go Eleven and Chaz Davies are keen to apologize to Team GRT Yamaha and Garrett Gerloff, innocently involved in the crash.
In the Warm Up Chaz goes on track feeling confident in starting the day in the best possible way. New tyres and almost ten laps completed at an excellent pace, immediately behind the first group.
P 1 S. Redding 1.36.903
P 2 T. Razgatlioglu + 0.176
P 3 A. Locatelli + 0.201
P 6 C. Davies + 0.601
The Superpole Race starts with good expectations for Go Eleven, considering the excellent fifth starting place from the grid. The start is not optimal and especially during the first lap he remains a bit closed, losing several positions. Thus Chaz begins his comeback, overtaking Van Der Mark and chasing the Sykes and Lowes duo a little further on. The pace is good, in line with fourth place, but unfortunately in 10 laps, it is never easy to recover, especially on a track with these characteristics. These short races are often influenced by starting and grid position, leaving little room for strategy. The number seven finishes in seventh position, losing a row from the qualifying position, but still showing good potential for Race 2.
P 1 S. Redding 16’20.247
P 2 J. Rea + 0.631
P 3 T. Razgatlioglu + 3.040
P 7 C. Davies + 7.203
Race 2, unfortunately, doesn’t leave much to say to Go Eleven; during the first lap, in an attempt to overtake Bassani, Chaz loses the front in Turn 9, same place and similar modalities to yesterday’s crash, also involving Gerloff; the bike, once on the ground, hits the Yamaha of the American. It is a shame to finish the race after a few seconds, and above all not having finished either of the two main races starting from excellent positions, and having a competitive pace, at least for the Top 5.
P 1 T. Razgatlioglu 36’09.492
P 2 S. Redding + 1.105
P 3 J. Rea + 3.715
CRASH (DNF) C. Davies
It is urgent to turn the page, to get back to getting points in a consistent and constant way. Magny Cours, France, next 03-04-05 September, can and must be a place of redemption. In those parts the weather often affects the races, but for Go Eleven and Chaz it will be essential to collect every possible opportunity between now and the end of the year.
Chaz Davies (Rider):
“Starting from Warm Up, I felt very good with the bike and I was optimistic for a good day. In the Superpole Race we hadn’t a good start, then I had an OK Race, the pace was good, but in this Race everybody in so on the limit that it’s actually difficult to go forward sometimes. I was quite happy with the feeling, I felt like we can maybe improve the bike a little bit for the last race. In Race 2 I got another pretty bad start, I lost several positions, obviously I felt like I had the potential to fight for the Top 5, so I passed Bassani at the end of the back straight, but in front of me there a few riders pushing each other, and I think that caught the attention of the couple of guys in between me and this group. Everybody was kind of anticipating what would happen, but I was already overtaking. Considering my line and my speed, I couldn’t consider the situation in front and unfortunately I lost the front trying to avoid Garrett, trying to stop the bike enough and I also took him out of the Race. I am disappointed about that, to take another rider out of the race and also not have the opportunity today to put together full Race. I am very sorry to all the Team, it was a typical first lap incident. Just looking forward to better times in Magny-Cours.”
Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
“I am very disappointed, we are competitive, we can do great races, but we can’t finish them. Of course, I think at this moment we are influenced by not being quick at the start. We find ourselves in the middle of the group, and you never know what will happen, you are in a hurry to recover so as not to lose ground from the podium group, and bad luck or error can happen. Today we are halfway through the championship, and we remain motivated because we know what we can do and where we want to go, the team and Chaz have a great feeling, and together we can change our championship and have fun.”