On Sunday an era came to an end in Estoril: After seven years, Chaz Davies drove his last race in the Superbike World Championship for the Ducati works team and finished it in style as the winner!
On October 14, it became official that Ducati would no longer renew the contract of Chaz Davies (33) after seven years of cooperation and prefer Michael Ruben Rinaldi, nine years his junior, for 2021.
Then came the SBK final in Estoril. Davies raced to places 2, 4 and 1 and secured third place in the world championship in an impeccable manner behind Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) and Aruba team-mate Scott Redding. Since 2015, with the exception of 2019 (6th), the Welshman has always landed in the top 3 in the overall standings and celebrated his 32nd victory and 98th podium in Portugal! And yet he is without a job for 2021.
It was a surreal situation when Davies sat down with a handful of selected journalists after the race, soaked in champagne. He proudly hung the bronze medal around his neck.
“Obviously it wasn’t my decision what happened,” he said. “It’s a perfect ending, I have no regrets and I’ve done my job. I said in which direction I wanted to go with the motorcycle, we saw the results. The race on Sunday was like a fairy tale. “
“On Sunday morning I got a nice photo from my boys and everyone wrote nice comments on my tank,” added Davies. “When we were on the grid, everyone had tears in their eyes. As I looked at their faces, the past few years went through my head. Then I realized that in a minute I had to drive a race and get going. “
Davies did this in an admirable manner. He didn’t give Redding and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha) a chance and won by almost 2 seconds.
If you look at the pictures of his team celebrating in the parc fermé, you inevitably realize that the decision against Davies was made by top management in Borgo Panigale, and not by the Aruba team.
“Some of the mechanics went through thick and thin with me for years,” said Chaz. “You were there in 2014 when things didn’t go well. Then we had a lot of successes together, and then there were bad days again. They always believed in me and never doubted. I have often asked myself why they support me so much. They stood behind me at all times, and they impressively showed me that on the grid. You have to think of it like this is your wife who is dating someone else. If you’re happy to let her go, that’s fine. But if she leaves you and you still love her, it’s not cool. But it is what it is. “
“Even on bad days, I always fought to get better,” emphasized the 33-year-old. “I’ve never given up, it doesn’t suit my character to just accept something and give up. I’ve always thought the Ducati had great potential. But I needed a few things differently to be quick. We worked on that. Unfortunately, it took longer than expected to be consistently fast – in every session, on every track. I have always assured the team that we will get into this position if they follow my path. “
|Result Superbike World Championship, Estoril, run 2|
|Pos||driver||motorcycle||Time / Diff|
|1.||Chaz Davies||Ducati||34: 07,368 min|
|2.||Scott Redding||Ducati||+ 1,951 sec|
|3.||Earth Razgatlioglu||Yamaha||+ 2,556|
|4.||Michael van der Mark||Yamaha||+ 10,423|
|5.||Alvaro Bautista||Honda||+ 15,473|
|6.||Michael Rinaldi||Ducati||+ 20,277|
|7.||Leon Haslam||Honda||+ 21,074|
|8.||Xavi Fores||Kawasaki||+ 21,291|
|9.||Federico Caricasulo||Yamaha||+ 22,427|
|10.||Tom Sykes||BMW||+ 25,168|
|11.||Jonas Folger||Yamaha||+ 26,945|
|12.||Eugene Laverty||BMW||+ 28,511|
|13.||Leandro Mercado||Ducati||+ 32,281|
|14.||Jonathan Rea||Kawasaki||+ 38,800|
|15.||Matteo Ferrari||Ducati||+ 46,083|
|16.||Eric Granado||Honda||+ 47,000|
|17.||Takumi Takahashi||Honda||+ 47,295|
|18.||Sheridan Morais||Kawasaki||> 1 min|
|19.||Loris Cresson||Kawasaki||> 1 min|
|Stand Superbike World Championship after Estoril|
|5.||Michael van der Mark||Yamaha||223|