Chaz Davies of the Aruba.IT Ducati Team took a brace of 2nd positions as the season got underway at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Australia. The Welshman secured his best ever start to a World Superbike season, and is only 10 points behind double winner and reigning double champion Jonathan Rea.
The 30-year-old former World Supersport champion took the lead at periods throughout the race but wasn’t able to cross the line ahead of rival Rea. The Ducati staying in the slipstream, finishing half a tenth away in both races. 2017 was the first season since he joined Ducati that he didn’t set the fastest lap of a race, although Ducati took that particular honour with Marco Melandri in race two.
“Race two was a bit more difficult to manage than the first, given the hotter conditions. The glass is half full though, without a doubt. We tried something different but we lost a couple of bike lengths here and there and we just couldn’t pass Rea before the finish line, said Davies, who finished last season with seven wins from the last eight races.
“When you look at the full picture, this is a really positive result. It would be easy to be disappointed because we barely missed two wins, but historically this has never been a favourite circuit for me and sometimes I lost precious points here, so two second places are a good building block for the rest of the season”.
The 3rd placed man in last season now heads to Thailand where the WSBK circus starts the next chapter of this year’s already-exhilarating championship. The round takes place on the 11th and 12th of March.
Kiko Giles @MotoGPKiko