Another double as Davies ends third

Reporter:

Gavin Grosvenor

CHAZ Davies ended the World Superbike Championship (WSBK) with another double victory in Qatar but missed out on the title.

The Presteigne ace has emerged one of the inform riders in the championship since the summer with a succession of double victories helping him climb the rankings.

Davies arrived in Qatat and the floodlights of the Losail track with championship aspirations having eroded the once healthy lead of the Kawasaki pair of Tom Sykes and Jon Rea with six consecutive victories and 11 in total this season.

However Rea denied Davies the championship after conceding second place in race two to Kawasaki team-mate Sykes which meant Davies ended the 2016 WSBK season in third position.

After winning race one in a dominant fashion,  the Aruba Ducati star went into race two with confidence and with the championship within his grasp.

Second at the start, Davies took the lead in lap one to progressively pull away from his rivals, led by Sykes.

Following a re-start due to an oil leak, Davies imposed his pace once again to take the checkered flag having neutralized Rea’s comeback before the 2016 champion ceded second position in both race and the championship to Sykes which ensured the Kawasaki pair ended on top of the podium.

Davies said: “To do the double on a circuit where we struggled last year is a sign of how much we turned things around.

“In the first half of the race I was just managing the gap, but after the restart it was a fast, short race. It was difficult to see the pit-board and I wasn’t looking at the big screens, so I didn’t really know how to manage the race, but then I saw Rea was coming back so I pushed a bit more in the last laps and did all I could to bring home the win.

“It’s bittersweet, because it wasn’t enough to secure second place in the championship, but I saw that coming.

“We’ve been the fastest out there since the summer break, and we’ll try to keep improving everyday, take it into next year and be as consistent as possible to get the big trophy in the end.”

Stefano Cecconi,  team principal of Ducati added: “It’s a bit disappointing to finish the year like this, as Chaz took third place in the championship despite being the most successful rider out there, but we certainly can’t complain.

“This season rewarded us in many ways, and we’re certainly ready to fight for the big prize next year. “

See full story in the County Times

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