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WorldSBK Catalunya: Setup change gives Davies 'totally different bike'

Ducati’s Chaz Davies has not been the same rider on the V4 Ducati as he was on the twin, in terms of pure results at least.

Yesterday, in the long race two at Catalunya, gave him his first race win of the season, and only his second ever on the V4R since it arrived at the beginning of 2019.

But after a significant setup change to the rear end of his Panigale, Davies was right on it again and dominated the long feature race for his 31st career win. He said that it was as good as it could be as a race result.


“It was absolutely perfect. The bike worked well from the beginning and we made a big change from yesterday to today, with the rear, to try and find some grip,” said told bikesportnews.com.

“It worked and it was a totally different bike. We have taken a step forward compared to this time yesterday and compared to Aragon, where I did not have any traction at all.

Today we found some real traction and I could manage the race how I wanted. I am much happier and I think it was a job well done; my crew did a good job. It was nice to be able to control from the front with that kind of pace.”

Never the most emotional of riders, Davies said of what it meant to him, “Winning is winning. It is super-satisfying and probably the main thing is that I prove every time that when I say we need to work in this area – and when they bring solutions in that area – we achieve better results.

“That is the most satisfying thing for me. It is a slow process and today we made another step forward. It is late but the potential there. I always said, and I am always honest, that when I feel I am using the potential of the bike, that is the full potential.”

The question remains – is the ‘window’ of the Panigale V4R in WorldSBK trim too small – but Davies is unsure. “I don’t know myself if that is entirely accurate. I think on one hand I would agree but on the other hand I have rarely felt we are in the right window at the front and rear of the bike.

“The front now is super-good. I have not touched a click all weekend. I think it was mostly the same in Aragon, it is working good. The rear is where I have been concentrating all the effort, where I have been trying to find some traction.

“Now we have maybe moved the window and got it in the right area. Now we are in the window. Maybe it is too early to say that that is a window that can work in different circuits. But it definitely did today.”

Davies is not assured of a repeat WorldSBK ride with Aruba.it Ducati in 2021, still waiting to hear like his ‘rival’ for the ride, Michael Ruben Rinaldi. If not, would he now like to continue on another Ducati, for obvious reasons?

“Honestly speaking I have put in the effort I have put in to ride for the best team, with the best engineers, with the best support,” said Davies. “I come here to win races and do the job like today. I do not believe that that kind of thing is possible – consistently possible – in a non-factory team. For me it is not as interesting and I think I deserve better.


I have been consistent with my comments, I tell them where the problem is, but sometimes the responsibility… they look at me. I look at them for answers and they look at me. It has been a slow process to get to this point but we are getting there, we have a good window with the bike.”

The big change for Davies came via not parts but geometry and balance. “I was thinking hardware last night – I wanted to throw some different hardware at this to try and find something. I felt we were too far out of the window with grip.

“It is has always been a strong point later in the races, managing slightly slippery conditions but up until today it was not like that – I was struggling a bit. So I felt we needed a big step to change. In the end they did do a big step but on the package we already had. It was just set-up and a bit of balance, different weight balance and what-not.”

Davies said his starting position on the front row of the final race was not anything to do with his day one versus day two results. “If I had that pace yesterday I could win the race also yesterday,” said Davies.

“With this bike of today we could have gone forward and won the race yesterday. For sure it helps, the starting position, but if you do not have the grip in the rear it does not matter where you start, you can’t win the race. I have quite simply been asking for more grip and the rear was working.”


Davies expects the bike setup he won his first race for over a year with will be his base bike, at least a starting point at Magny Cours and onward, to at least understand what you can be done from what they were.

Only the extreme right-handed nature of Catalunya clouds his thoughts now, but he said it would be his starting point from now on.

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