Wearing his heart upon his sleeve, Chaz Davies has been freed from the shackles of 2019 after a first win of the year came at Laguna Seca!
It was a dominant display from an inspired Chaz Davies in Race 2, as the Welshman stormed to a first win of the 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season. Having endured many difficulties throughout his first campaign with the new Ducati Panigale V4R R, Davies declared that his comeback starts now, looking to be in the hunt for a strong end to 2019.
Getting the holeshot at Turn 1 and defending his position magnificently into Turn 2 on the opening lap, Davies led the field round the first lap. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) tried once to pass Davies at Turn 5 on the second lap but couldn’t make it stick, allowing his former championship rival to slice back ahead. From then on in, nobody saw which way Davies went, as he set a scorching pace of 1’23 lap times from Lap 4 to Lap 16, breaking Jonathan Rea’s chances of victory.
A victorious Davies didn’t hold back his emotions, saying: “This means a lot and it is a huge weight off my shoulders! It has been a long season, let alone since the last time I won at Aragon last season – it was starting to get to the point of, ‘hmm, can I still do this anymore?’ but we can. I kept plugging away and kept working hard; I felt like a broken record at the start of the season, repeating myself with people asking me the same questions. We got it right today and my team did an excellent job.”
Davies characteristically ends seasons strongly in WorldSBK, with him ending 2016 with seven wins from eight races, 2017 with five podiums and last season with a string of top four results, peppered with enough podiums to finish second in the World Superbike standings for a second season running.
Continuing to reflect on his first win of 2019, Davies said: “We’ll have a little bit of a drink tonight! I didn’t feel particularly fast after Friday morning, I was bracing for a long weekend. We made the right move and my crew did an excellent job; it made the difference to win Race 2, and I wasn’t sure if I had the pace to do so. It’s been good to keep plugging away and it’s good to be here too, in P1!”
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