AMA Superbike: Chaz Davies continues perfect podium record in Alabama

Published: 21 April 2008

Daytona 200 winner Chaz Davies kept up his perfect podium record by finishing third in the second round of the Formula Xtreme championship at Barber Motorsports Park outside of Birmingham, Alabama.

Davies was making a run at the second placed rider when he overshot the hard braking, downhill turn five hairpin. He made the pass, but continued well into the corner and onto the grass.

By the time he recovered he’d lost two spots. Both were made up, but by then he was too far back to finish any higher than third.

Still, that kept him in the championship lead after two of 12 rounds, a distinction he wasn’t willing to embrace.

“It’s too early to start thinking about points,” he said after finishing about 4.2 seconds out of second.

“The second race and I’m not out there to collect points. So, yeah, we’ll just do what we can, keep working toward if I have to crash the thing to try and win one, then I’ll win one.

“It’s not easy out there, these boys are making it very difficult. We’ll just keep trying as hard as we can and see what happens at the end of the year.”

Davies was certainly trying hard when he overshot the corner.

“I just got in a little bit too hot and it came a little bit sideways on me, well more than a little bit. Anyway, it was a stupid mistake on my own.

“I was just trying to get past Martin (Cardenas) but I was sort of expecting the Hondas to start breaking away.

“As I say, I ran off the track, then just put my head down, reeled off a couple of low 27’s and then the gap really to Martin was a little bit too much. I started to close it a bit, but then I saw Josh (Hayes) go down, so that was about it, that was the end of the race.

“I’m certainly happy with it, but not thrilled, I probably had a good enough bike to fight for the win.”

He couldn’t say the same for his Supersport bike. Problems in qualifying limited him to three full laps, two on his back-up motorcycle and one on a qualifier.

It added up to a grid position of tenth and a deep hole at the start.

His problems were compounded when after four laps he discovered that the tyre compound which had worked in FX was skating all over the track.

“Basically it was a difficult race. It was the first time I’ve really had something like that in all the Supersport races I’ve done I’ve never really spun a bike like that.

“I think we need to work on the rear of the bike to get it set up better. Having said that, I’d done decent runs at other tracks and it hasn’t been a problem.

The problems were just a little off on suspension and making things work too hard and make it difficult. Really, that was about it, just couldn’t make any headway in the race.”

American Honda’s Neil Hodgson finished the Barber weekend with a pair of fifths, one more competitive than the other.

Saturday’s race was all down to the start. “I got it all wrong. I had a bad first two corners and the race were over really.”

Hodgson was 25 seconds behind winner Mat Mladin (Rockstar Makita Suzuki), while his race on Sunday was fairly similar, but without the bad start.

The Brit said: “You know I feel like we weren’t that far off the podium today. I was fourth for a while. I made a couple of mistakes and then got, not flustered, but then started trying a little bit too hard and then lost my rhythm.”

Hodgson was chasing Yamaha’s Eric Bostrom for third place when he dropped a position in the same corner on consecutive laps. Hodgson sheepishly admitted it was a problem with his boot that got caught in the gear lever.

“That’s not Alpinestars fault, I should have put on some new ones. The lap after I did the same again, just to make sure.

“I thought on the next lap everyone was going to think I’m going to brake early and I’ll brake just as deep, and then just get it a bit wrong again.

“I really like Eric (Bostrom), I love racing with him as you know he’s not going to do anything stupid, so I had a good race with him.”

Hodgson has a week to point the team in the right direction to eliminate front end chatter.

And he said: “The problem is mid-race to the end, the chatter’s not allowing us to actually throw the bike into the corners, you’ve got to roll into the corners.

“It’s really hard; once you lose a bit of grip it starts chattering. You then almost got to sit back and change your riding style.

“And it’s almost looks like you’ve given up, but you’ve not, but you’ve got to be extremely aggressive with it and it’ll hop and you’ll miss the apex.

“You have to ride slightly different which is very frustrating, but we’ve got two rough ideas about how to fix that.”