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WorldSBK Aragon: Davies sunk by 'groundhog day' Superpole pace

Chaz Davies started WorldSBK race one at Aragon in ninth place but came through the field like the seven-times Motorland race winner he is to finish second to his own team-mate Scott Redding by only 0.304 seconds.

That is winning pace, were it not for a third row start. And Davies was again stuffed by his own one-lap Superpole pace.

“Qualifying is like groundhog day for me,” said Davies, who knows he needs to start further forward to be in with a better chance of winning races. “Another Q, same shit different racetrack. I felt like the performance was OK with the tyre, but then I see the lap time.


"Then this morning’s improvement compared to the race tyre, and then the starting position is super-disappointing. Frustrating to be P9 again. It conditions the first part of my race. I cannot really say that anything happened during Superpole it is just that other people were faster.”

Davies was still happy with what he achieved in the race itself, and enjoyed his ride from the mid pack. “Definitely it was cool race, very good fun in part by starting ninth. Not where I wanted to start but it makes the race more interesting.

"So I had a little bit of work to do but that balancing act between using tyre and trying to take some tenths out of Johnny and Scott was tricky to manage today. That is why on TV you probably saw that I was closing a lot on them then here was more or less the same gap, then started to lose a bit and they started to pull away, as at that point I was still thinking about conserving tyre.

But then I just said ‘OK, I have to push now and try to get there’. Which I did, but I guess I needed one lap more to have a chance of passing Scott.”

He was full of praise for Redding, as he was given nothing away. “He rode a great race and a great last couple of laps so he didn’t give me any opportunity to strike. I felt on the limit and there are a couple of things I need to try and improve for that part of the race, specifically. But then again I had to do a lot of work to get there, so I used a lot of tyre.”

Davies is at a loss to know why he cannot do one very fast lap when he can do 17 blistering ones in succession. “I am struggling to answer that question myself. That is the problem there is no real good reason for the difficulty to do a lap. I have had qualifying laps before that feel slow, and it can be on the front row. But then laps like today where everything feels good; it wasn’t a bad lap.

"Maybe a few tenths that were left on the circuit but I cannot say it was a bad lap. But obviously our competitors did much better and maybe managed to use their tyre a bit better. But another thing, that is something (that I noticed) in the race, but from the test to now we have changed something, we have changed the rear of the bike a step to fix some other problems and I think this maybe gives me a little bit of a limit with a sticky tyre – in turning the bike and everything like that.

"Maybe we can improve a little bit more with the Q tyres. Our new set-up at the rear probably needs some fine-tuning for a Superpole tyre. What we have at the rear is new, quite different. I feel like maybe we are on a learning curve with it. We have not really played too much with this new set-up. It is suspension and geometry related, not hardware.”

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