In starting the second Magny-Cours WorldSBK race from the front row, Aruba Ducati’s Chaz Davies knew a good start was essential to make sure he keep his nose in front in the battle for second place overall.
But he also knew that Jonathan Rea was going to catch him sometime, and hopefully not pass him too soon, especially after Davies had a small startline drama.
“I had a good early part of the race, just kind of really focused to hit my marks and try to do some damage early on,” said Davies after keeping a 26 point lead back to Michael van der Mark in the fight for second place in 2018.
“I did not know if it was possible but I thought if I made the start that would be half the battle. I got off well - but with the clutch in I felt the bike creeping a little so I was really worried on the line that it was going to be a jump start. I was holding as hard as I could to stop the bike from moving. I got my head down saw the little gap to Johnny and I knew that sooner or later he would close so I tried to stay clean and not make too many mistakes.”
Davies, still carrying a right shoulder injury that will need surgery to fix in the winter, said, “It was just a fight to the end I was struggling a bit physically and with the set-up. It has not been ideal this weekend but finally we did not change anything for yesterday. I tried to see if I could hang onto Johnny but he did that bit of damage in the one lap.”
Davies was not blaming his injury for not being able to challenge, as he feels he did not have the full package of anyway.
“I feel a bit so-so, it is no excuse as I don’t feel too bad,” said Davies. “I am not able to quite move on the bike. I am a bit limited and it is a lot better than Portimao. I have a little bit of strength here, which I did not have in Portimao. This, probably, is one of the hardest braking tracks on the calendar.
“There are several hard braking sections, which are all on the right shoulder, because those areas are all pretty much right hand corners. It does not make life particularly easy for me. But I feel like, with or without the injury, we do not quite have quite the package to fifth for the win here.”
Second was the best Davies could get bit it was a much better race two than race one.
“Starting position was a big difference today. And first lap so that I knew I could do some good laps if I could make some clean air. I have looked at the layout of Argentina and it is a left-handed track. I am looking forward to going left in Argentina, and the layout looks quite flowing as well. Pain is not holding me back it is just a bit of manoeuvrability.”
Davies needs to put in as many of these types of finishes as he can over the final few races, because he needs to keep the Pata Yamaha of Michael van der Mark behind him for second, in a battle which is heating up nicely now Rea is confirmed as he champion.