Unless Pata Yamaha and Michael van der Mark pull off a minor miracle, Aruba Ducati’s Chaz Davies will again be WorldSBK championship bridesmaid in 2018 but the Welsh dragon believes next season will be a different kettle of chocolate.
With a new V4 Panigale on the horizon, Davies hopes 2019 and 2020 will not be two more championships for Kawasaki and Jonathan Rea, and says there is a lot more to come from himself and the Bologna factory.
Chaz Davies pushed through the pain barrier again this weekend in Magny Cours to record a fighting fifth place, despite having his hands full with is bike and his shoulder overloaded with Magny Cours.
“Jonathan has made the best of the package that he has been given and he has done everything with the opportunity that he has got,” Davies told bikesportnews.com. “He is the reference, the benchmark, and we are all trying to figure out how to put our package as close as possible to what they have got.”
How then does it feel to race against the GOAT, on paper, over the past four years, when Davies has usually been his biggest rival?
“I feel like as well that we have got more to give, I am just trying to find how to give it,” said Davies. “We have the potential to make his life more difficult but it depends on a combination of factors and they have – and not just for four years – the green team have really set the benchmark in this paddock. It is up to us and I am really hopeful that next year we can really do something about that. Nothing is a given, but that is what I am hoping for. Johnny hasn’t seen he best of me or the best of Ducati either. I am crossing the fingers for next year.”
Some inside Ducati have started to say said that the new V4 should be strong from the start but the ever-cautious Davies says wait and see, even after seeing the bike being tested now.
“It is always subjective to how much time you spend on one bike or the other bike but the early signs are positive,’ said Davies. “If it is a V4 test but you introduce the twin for a comparison, you have to give a fair comparison to both bikes to see what is better or not.
“The early signs are promising but everything I have seen – I was at that test – everybody is quite excited at the potential of the bike. It would be foolish to be here with the bike and say that this bike is going to be automatically a good step better than what we have.
“That is the objective, but racing is all about the details and I have had this bike now for five years and it is not an easy bike to improve upon. I am 100% positive that given time, and sooner rather than later, this winter we will be surpassing the performance of the twin pretty quickly, just improving that few tenths that we need.”