Magny-Cours WorldSBK: Rea still ‘the benchmark’ for Davies

| | WorldSBK
Picture: GeeBee Images

Chaz Davies came good with two WorldSBK fourth-place finishes at Magny-Cours on Sunday, in the sprint race and then in the full distance race one.

The works Ducati man was nearly a victim of the crash between Razgatlioglu and Bautista in the final Sunday race and in a way still was.

“I just got caught up in the incident with Toprak and Alvaro and took avoiding action, ran off track and came back off the grass four seconds back and finished the race four seconds back,” Davies told

It is frustrating no to get the chance to fight for the win. The pace was nothing special but it was enough to keep us in the fight in that group for the podium. It was hard to make a difference today and I think that nobody had clear, clear, superior pace.”

Davies was asked about his old championship rival. Jonathan Rea, who made it five in a row after the Magny Cours weekend. After so many tough fights with him, Davies and the all-new Ducati for 2019 could not mount their usual campaign, but what were his thoughts about five-timer Rea?

“He is the benchmark isn’t he?” said Davies. “He is there all the time, every time, not just Jonathan but Kawasaki. They are the reference for everybody to chase. It is not easy to put together one championship, let alone five.

“They keep turning up and keep doing the business. And just staying consistent, I think that is their key. Johnny wins when he can win but he can also play the consistency game. Which has ultimately won him the championship this year.

“Everybody had to react as best we can for next year. I feel like I am on a learning curve at the moment and Alvaro had, you could say, one hand on the trophy at one point. So somebody can do something about it but you just got to have that consistency.”

Davies has no one glaring problem or area he and his team can improve the V4R in next year, according to Davies. “It is so many details. Not one thing now, Now not really. Pre Laguna, yeah, we were crying for a bit of help, but now it is details - but details that make a big difference as well.”

After being such a championship threat to Rea for a few years, Davies is philosophical about this year.

Sometimes you have to get perspective and the perspective for me is that it took, I think, one year and three races to win with the twin Ducati five years ago or so. And we managed to achieve a victory, for me personally, in eight races, at Laguna.

“So sometimes, even though it has been a very difficult season, and we have been struggling to adapt the new bike and get it to my liking, we are still ahead of where we were four or five years ago. And we went on to be ultra-competitive with that bike.

“I know what I am like and know I need a little bit of time sometimes to figure stuff out, so as long as we keep going in the right direction hopefully we will turn up with a more refined package for next year.”