Phillip Island’s WorldSBK round was for Chaz Davies inside the works Ducati squad, as he has missed a lot of testing with injury and as a result simply not had time and clear direction enough to find his happy place. Even on what is obviously a potent new Ducati V4R.
Maybe the short race, which would be a bit less reliant on a perfect 22-lap setup, could offer Davies a chance to improve on a race one tenth? Not really, as he did not score points.
“The short race was equally as tough,” Davies told bikesportnews.com. “I expected to make a few more strides in that, but it did not happen. In the last race of the weekend, just for a short period, it was better. During that race we changed the bike massively and it responded in the right direction.
“There are no secrets - we pitched the thing slightly different, more than anything changed the throttle connection and electronics. It was a bit weird, because it was completely day and night different to what I have been riding. It is just a matter of getting used to it. The whole system was working in unison rather than being aggressive and snappy.”
Davies must have been heartened by his new partner’s utter domination on the same basic bike as him, even if Bautista also won the race to finding out what makes the new V4 really tick.
“Right now I am concentrating ‘in the moment’ but obviously Alvaro has shown the potential of the bike, which is great, but I need to find my way with it first,” said the ever-practical Davies. “I do not want to be thinking, ‘should’ve…’ But it is seriously impressive what he has done this weekend and it bodes well for everything. We have got some different tracks coming up and I still have to find my feet with the bike. That is the main thing with the bike rather than looking at ifs, what’s and maybes.”
Davies at least knows exactly what he needs next, when asked what two areas would he like to see the most immediate improvement in.
“Having the bike a bit balanced in the quicker stuff and throttle connection still. Electronics, to call it generally,” he said in a definite fashion.
Davies also confirmed that he is perfectly fit, despite looking nothing like his old self in testing and the first two days of testing, and having had recent back problems and relatively shoulder surgery to recover from. Seventh in race two was proof that he is at least approaching his old best again.