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WorldSBK Estoril: Emotions high as Davies waves goodbye to Ducati

After being told he would be out of the official Ducati WorldSBK squad for the 2021, Chaz Davies followed that bad news up at the final weekend of the 2020 season with a superb race-two win in Portugal.

It gave Ducati a 1-2, with Scott Redding in second place, and took Ducati to within one point of winning the Manufacturers’ Championship. It was an exceptional end to his strong factory Ducati tenure. He has now won 32 career WorldSBK races, and this one was one of his best.

But the question to him right after he won, in the creaking but characterful Estoril media debrief room, was did this make it even worse – a bittersweet end or a perfect one? Davies had no doubts really.


“A perfect end, not no regrets as it is obviously not my decision what has happened,” said Davies. “I do not say bittersweet because I feel I have done my job, I have been vindicated in my comments, and the direction I want to go personally with the bike, and that is the result. That was the possibility in the last few races.”

Davies’ emotions were running at a high level after his win, as he punched the air over the line and fairly jumped - body and soul - into the podium celebrations.

“It is a little bit fairytale, to be honest with you. One of the boys has come and given me a nice photo and a double A4 letter this morning, they have all written nice messages on my fuel tank for the race, we are on the grid and everybody is in tears already!

First of all I was like, ‘Are these boys concentrating? Are we going to get of the grid in time?’ and secondly I was just welling up on the grid just looking at them and thinking about things. History, and then I am welling up myself and thinking, ‘I have got to go racing in a minute. This is not good you have to get yourself into gear.’ Then you just turn it on and go for it. And it worked.”

Davies said it was particularly tough to be sacked by the Ducati management when he had such rapport with his own guys. “It is hard thinking these guys have been with me through thick and thin, especially on the mechanics side, for many, many years. They have seen the bad days in 2014, then the success and then the bad days again. Their belief never waivered at any point.

"Sometimes I even question why they support me so much! But they really do. It is so nice and it just showed on the grid that those guys have got my back at all times. It is difficult imagining these guys… It is like your wife going with somebody else when it is not your choice. If you are happy to let go then that is fine. That is one thing. But if she leaves and you are still in love, it is like, ‘That’s not cool’."

Davies has no prospect of another factory ride in SBK, barring a miracle. “It is not in my hands,” he said. “There are opportunities but – as this race proves - I am not here for less than that (result). At least being able to achieve that. I am not a guy that is going to be a top five or a third place. If the situation is less than that then I won’t be happy to stay here. I don’t think that is arrogance; it is being true to myself. That is it.”

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