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Magny-Cours WorldSBK: 'There was a lot of pressure on that last lap' – Davies

Once again Ducati's Chaz Davies turned around a mediocre qualifying performance – ninth this time at the wet and damp Magny-Cours - to put himself third in the championship fight overall.

That position seems strange when others have hogged more headlines, or had more surprising wins or podiums than he has, but Davies has been gradually turning things the right way up in races, culminating in his Barcelona win.

In holding would-be champion Jonathan Rea behind him into fourth place in race two, Davies personally - literally - ensured that the championship fight would go to the final round in Portugal. He knew Rea was keen to get third place back too, after Davies took it from him.


“I knew he was there and not going to let his championship roll onto Estoril without a fight,” said Davies, speaking at the track. “I was fully expecting a move on the last lap and I knew he was taking quite a bit of time out of me through turn eight, so I closed the door a little bit there, ran it a bit tighter than usual, and just put it together quite well. I think my last lap was a 1’48.2, so made him work and I think make the mistakes behind me.”

Davies understood the points situation at the time, and what his third place would mean for the championship overall and his own drive for third come the end of the year. “There was a lot of pressure on myself on that last lap, because obviously I knew the points situation and if Jonathan had got in front of me then that’s the championship done.

"Also for myself to not settle for fourth place and to try and take those extra points out of van der Mark… I could have quite easily have gone to Johnny, ‘I am not willing to go that far’ but I dug in and took a few risks for myself and to keep this championship alive until Estoril.

I did know the situation because I think I read somewhere that the only way the championship would continue was if Scott won and Jonathan finishes off the podium - and I laughed. What are the chances of that happening? Slim to none - but here we are. It was a bit of a surprise. I had shitload of pressure on that last lap because the gap went out to 1.2 or 1.3, and when I passed him I thought, ‘He is struggling here.’

"I could see Loris starting to struggle too, but I was pretty OK at that point. Then I started to struggle a bit with grip, and then Jonathan came back to me. I was starting to think I am happy enough to get just a couple of more points over van der Mark; that was the goal. I knew Jonathan was going to fight hard that last lap. When it was +0 I had to put it together as best I can and defend. It was a lot of pressure.”

David said about how much this important result may help his push to keep his factory Ducati ride into 2021, “I do not want to be judged on individual results,” he said. “I want to be judged on what I am fighting for. I do not want to be judged on my race in Barcelona, or my third place here, I want to be judged on what I am fighting for.

"That is to help this team win a world championship. Because so far, for whatever reason, we have only ever come second. I feel that what I am fighting for is something better than that. It is also probably the same reason why I may not have a place here.”

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