Chaz Davies served notice that he’d be a major player this year after topping the Supersport class and finished a close second to his teammate in the final all-teams test of the year at California Speedway.
In the ultra-competitive Supersport class, the Welshman unofficially lapped the slippery 2.3-mile road course east of Los Angeles under the existing record on the Attack Kawasaki ZX-6R.
Davies’ time of 1:26.62 was just below the 1:26.789 set in last year’s Supersport race by Monster Kawasaki’s Jamie Hacking. And he did it after concentrating on the Formula Xtreme-spec bike until after lunch, when he was well into wearing himself out.
Chaz Davies said: “It’s alright, but I was pretty tired by the end of the day.
“I haven’t been on a bike for a month and I haven’t really done a lot of riding at home so it’s just a case of getting my muscles worked in again.”
The Formula Xtreme time was 0.2 secs faster than he’d gone on the first day and the same gap slower than team-mate Steve Rapp. The Erion Hondas he’ll be racing in the championship slotted in just behind.
Davies said: “It’s just hard to find the last bit. We didn’t have the preferred tyre which I used yesterday to do my quickest lap, so I did it on a different tyre, which is still OK.
“But I’d have preferred to do it on the one that I did yesterday, which would still go race distance, so that’s a good thing.”
Still, the times were consistently below last year’s pace and well under the fastest 2007 race lap of 1:26.876.
“Doing low 26’s consistently was real,” Davies said.
“I think that compares quite well to what everyone else is doing.”
Now Chaz Davies flies home to Presteigne to celebrate his 21st birthday on Sunday.
He then returns to the US for a test at Willow Springs, north of Los Angeles.
Willow Springs hosts a high bucks 200 mile race in the autumn, which the Attack Kawasaki teams consistently wins, partly because of the efficiency of their pit stops.
It’s that experience that will serve the team well when they return to Daytona, where they’re the defending Daytona 200 champions.