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Assen WorldSBK: Davies and Ducati still searching for setup silver bullet

Championship challenger Chaz Davies often finds Assen hard work and this weekend was no different to start with. Eighth on Friday, and eighth on the race one grid after Superpole, Davies over-performed, possibly, to go third in WorldSBK race one.

His push forward on the Aruba Ducati was impressive and got him up to second at one time, but a local man on the make put him third. Without a perfect setup there was some element of tyre wear at the end, some of a less than ideal setup, so it was all hard work for his 16 point reward.

“Our bike struggles with stability when the tyre goes off, just that that extra step it is a bit less stable,” Davies told bikesportnews.com. “And it just goes on, and on, like that. So there is a little bit of that. The last time Mikey came past me I was going to stay there with Johnny - because Johnny was cruising in the middle of the race and then he picked up the pace and I also stayed there then.


"I reckoned if that was all he’d got I would be there to the end. But then Mikey came by and I thought ‘do I go straight back or do I see what Mikey has got?’ But then the gap just kind of opened a bit. I was willing Mikey on (to pass Rea) because I know he is not shy of a hard pass! Go on Mikey, be my guest! I was just going to wait there as I did not have anything extra over them.

"But, if we had all been there in a last lap battle l it could have played out differently. It didn’t, as Johnny dropped the hammer at the right time, Mikey came past me at the wrong time. I decided not to go straight back and I was struggling a little bit more at the end of the race, so I do not know if I would have enough had to give for a win. We need to improve for tomorrow.”

With VDM just ahead, but ahead, and Sykes even closer behind Davies finally played defence, not offence. “I was more interested in keeping Tom behind,” said Davies. “There was a little gap to Mikey and to make that up would have taken a mistake from him, so I was in two minds about trying it.

"After a pretty shit weekend so far, a podium is better than it was looking for a long time. So I will take that and try to use the data to good effect for tomorrow. There are certain guys on the same bike a same here who can pull off a few quick laps, but I cannot even do that. What I can do is an OK race but I do not feel particularly good, like I am fighting it quite a lot.

"I think this is one of the tougher ones for us so to come away with a podium if we could do that again tomorrow that would be probably be a job well done. It would be nice to be able to crack w

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