For a rider who fell from a leading position in the first weekend of WorldSBK 2018 after inheriting a podium finish on Saturday, Chaz Davies was remarkably chipper.
His reason was simple, despite his eventual bad luck in pitching off at the bottom of Phillip Island’s MG corner. “I think I could have been a possible winner today,” said Davies, who left Australia only seventh in the overall championship standings.
“I even felt I could have won the race yesterday, but something was strange with the rear of the bike. I did not have a bad feeling like that all weekend and then yesterday was not so good. Today was the normal feeling. I also felt I had some margin in the first part of race two and then I put the fresh tyre in on the second part to at least fight for the win.”
Davies feels he maybe gave just a bit too much as he tried to emulate his team-mate’s Saturday race win on Sunday.
“It is the first time I have ever pushed like that on a fresh tyre, on a completely new tyre, and never do you leave the pits and go from zero to 100, like that!” said Davies. “Not in practice and not in qualifying. For me it was maybe a little bit too far and on a completely fresh tyre it just needed to be half a percent back. It was very late in the corner when I lost the front. It was a mistake and just I guess because it was a completely new tyre.”
Davies is not sure if there will be too many challenges beyond the obvious ones in 2018 under the new rules, but he did some examining of the data he experienced on the first weekend of the new year. Even at such a plain weird track as Phillip Island.
“I think PI is always PI but I also think that the guys you see at the front are going to be the guys you see all year,” said Davies. “The core of the group are Aprilias, Leon, us, Xavi, these guys who are all capable of being in the mix for the podium fight.
“It is too early to say if the advantage for Kawasaki is gone. Certainly on track it looks like they are fighting a little bit more. I see some mistakes being made, I see them losing traction and things like that. They seem a little bit more normal at the moment, at least from Johnny’s side.”