Top speed woes slows Davies in Thailand

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Chaz Davies says that a lack of top speed on his Aruba.it Ducati – combined with three straights at Thailand’s new Chang International Circuit – were the causes of many of his woes at last weekend’s second round of the World Superbike Championship.

Davies had a difficult day, crashing out of both races, and despite managing to salvage some points in 11th and 15th after remounting, he was left understandably frustrated by his day.

“It was very difficult because I was constantly having to push, riding at the limit, to fight with the others. The fact that there are three straights here really hindered us. We made some changes for race 2 and the bike was better, but then the race went more or less like the first one. The crash was different, I lost grip at the rear on entering Turn 3 but then the second part of the race was similar.

“I tried to make up as many positions as possible afterwards; the lap times were good and when I find myself riding alone I have a lot less trouble. When I’m fighting with the others, I have a lot more trouble with initial acceleration and on the straight, losing too much ground - which means I then have to force the entry.”

Ernesto Marinelli, the Ducati SBK Project Director, agreed with his rider’s assessment, believing that the main speed issues they had came from initial corner exit.

“We were missing a bit of acceleration out of the slow corners and this is what we need to focus on in coming weeks. We have nevertheless demonstrated again here in Thailand that the Panigale is a competitive bike - after the crashes Chaz was able to continue and, especially in race two, he maintained the same pace as the leaders, lapping with really fast times. Now we have to roll up our sleeves and look ahead to give it our all in the next races.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer