Welshman fights back against odds and injury to claim fourth place in Race One
After a difficult Friday and an even tougher qualifying session on Saturday morning, it all seemed to fall in place for Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) when the lights went out for the nineteenth race of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season, as he claimed fourth place at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve.
The Welshman started way back in fourteenth on the grid following a troubled qualifying session in Portimao, but quickly turned things around once he got off the marks. Having floated around the lower third of the timesheets all through Friday and Saturday morning, Davies made quick work of several riders in just one lap. By lap two he was already in fifth place, with Lorenzo Savadori’s (Milwaukee Aprilia) mid-race crash guaranteeing him an extra position upwards and the top spot on the grid in Sunday’s Race Two.
Speaking on his successful turnaround, Davies said: “I’m really happy, it’s been a tough weekend and tough summer. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting it today. I thought if I could get a top eight, that would be a good result to go home with. I honestly didn’t think that much more than that would be possible.
His team played an important part, setting up the Panigale to counter Davies’ recovering collarbone: “Hats off to my crew, because they’ve given me a bike which is a little easier to manage. I don’t feel 100% with the package from a physical point of view, but they’ve given me a bike which is easier to handle”.
Davies will start from P1 on Sunday, a fantastic opportunity to secure a first win since the Aragon Round: “Pole is an added bonus. I had actually forgotten until my wife reminded me! It’s nice to have some clear track in front and be able to set my rhythm, and hopefully not get caught up in too much early on. If tomorrow we can make a similar step as we did today our pace should pick up a little bit”.
Relive the best moments from the Welshman’s amazing comeback thanks to WorldSBK VideoPass.