A horrible WorldSBK weekend at Phillip Island at times saw Aruba Ducati’s Chaz Davies as low as 13th in races, after struggling in testing and qualifying.
A change in setup and a rise in temperatures for race two, as much as anything, helped him up to fifth and he looked like his old self at times in that final race.
“We made a small change to the bike that allowed me to be in the fight,” said Davies, who is a 30-time WorldSBK race winner.
“I think the conditions changed more than our bike. That helped us a little bit and turned the race into a bit of a tyre conservation race. A little bit of change with the bike, but not too much.
“Phillip Island is a unique circuit and it’s difficult for me generally, although I’ve been fast here in the past and led races. I’ve fought for wins here before, but we have to understand how to work with the V4 and this style of circuit.
Thankfully for me there’s only one Phillip Island on the calendar. We improved but I can’t say I am totally happy.”
He was just 4.278 seconds from race two winner Alex Lowes on Sunday afternoon. Now Davies looks to round two in Qatar to boost his game still further.
“In Qatar we had good pace last year and we know the setup that we used then,” he said. “The good thing for us in Qatar is that our set-up at the end of the year was more or less quite consistent, whereas the set-up at Phillip Island last year was quite different to what we have now.
“We had no reference to come here. It was like coming here for the first time with the Panigale V4. We changed so much to the bike to make it comfortable for me. We had to start with a new bike this weekend, with no reference, which probably hurt us as well.”
Davies has struggled while his new team-mate, Scott Redding has found his feet right away, and so for Chaz the sooner three race competitiveness comes the better.