Davies insists Ducati can hit ground running


Gavin Grosvenor

CHAZ Davies has ruled out World Superbike Championship (WSBK) honours being contested by a majority of the manufacturers.

Ahead of the 2017 season opener the Presteigne ace backed Kawasaki to lead the challenge with his own Ducati team the only manufacturer capable of a rival bid.

The Kawasaki duo Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes, along with Davies, have only failed to win four races in the past two years.

The trio are expected to lead the championship this year despite efforts of their rivals to fill the gap with Honda acquiring support from Red Bull and ex-MotoGP rider Stefan Bradl, Aprilia signing yet another WSBK returnee Eugene Laverty while Michael van der Mark joins the Yamaha team

"I think we have to wait and see, but I think the teams that will be consistently have the best package will be Ducati and Kawasaki," said Davies.

"Aprilia was strong in the test but it will be interesting to see their form across the full season. For sure they are going to be fast, but with a new team, it's a factory support team but not really full factory, maybe some races could be difficult for them."

Davies did not have the best final test weekend at Philip Island ahead of the WSBK opener on the same track this weekend.

Davies completed just 21 timed laps due to several stoppages due to rain and an impromptu visit from the local wild geese on the Australian track.

“We didn't really get a chance to get going,” said Davies. “Every time we went out on track, we could only do runs of three laps before the rain started to fall again. 

“In the last 20 minutes we were trying to make a set-up change but it took a bit longer than expected and, with the red flags, we didn't get a chance to improve our position.

“That said, we know that our package is solid, and considering the lack of track time we can be satisfied with our performance.”

See full story in the County Times

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