WSB: Davies: 'Racing will be closer in 2018'

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Twice runner-up and 23-times a race winner in the last three years, Chaz Davies is fired up and ready for another attack despite the new rules hitting Ducati harder than most.

Davies lost out to Rea by 0.042 seconds and 0.025 seconds in the two races at Phillip Island last year, and he’s determined to turn that into race wins this time around as he looks to start the season on the best footing possible.

However, the Welshman’s pre-season testing was hampered by injuries sustained in a big crash at November’s Jerez test and while no cause has officially been revealed by the Aruba Ducati team, onlookers have suggested brake failure may have been the instigator.

“The Jerez crash was a combination of a few things,” he explains. “I damaged my right knee and left shoulder but I have improved a lot in the last week which I’m really, really happy about." 

The changes to rev limits introduced to close up the field this year appear have hit Ducati quite hard, but Davies doesn’t seem worried about overcoming that issue.

“You can’t gear the bike as you would if you had the extra RPM. Now, we need a different gear pattern or extra shifts during the lap. In some places it’s no problem  and in others it will be really awkward. It’s not about horsepower, but usability of the bike. We’ll just have to work harder. I understand why they’ve done it and the racing will be closer. It’ll make for good TV.” 

For an extensive 2018 World Superbike pre-season preview, pick up this week's MCN

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Greg Haines

By Greg Haines

Superbike reporter and Eurosport commentator