Chaz Davies has expressed his disappointment at the confirmation he won’t be retained by Ducati for the 2021 WorldSBK Championship season, ending a seven-year relationship with the manufacturer.
Yesterday [14 October] it was revealed Michael Ruben Rinaldi will replace Davies in the factory-backed Aruba.it Ducati squad, joining Scott Redding who is in the midst of a two-year contract.
Though seen as a reward for Rinaldi – who previously raced for the Aruba.it backed Ducati Junior team in 2018 – after a series of impressive performances this year, including a maiden win in Aragon, Davies has been a linchpin for Ducati over the years and shown progress on the V4 in recent rounds.
That said, Davies has occasionally struggled to get the best from the V4 Panigale since its introduction in 2019, particularly relative to Alvaro Bautista in 2019 and Redding this season. This is especially true in qualifying – which decides the grid for Race 1 and the Superpole Race – with Davies’ qualifying scoresheet for 2020 reading 16-7-13-9-8-11-9.
More recently he has been a match for the likes of Redding and Jonathan Rea in race trim and despite his struggles on Saturday he heads into the final 2020 WorldSBK round in Estoril third overall with one win to his name
As such, Davies admits he is disappointed to be bringing a 7 year relationship – one that has yielded 27 wins, 86 podiums and three occasions as a runner-up to Rea – to a conclusion this weekend.
“Although I had hoped to continue together in 2021, all good things must come to an end. These 7 years as a Ducati factory and Aruba.it Racing rider have been unforgettable. I have many great memories from what we accomplished together – 27 race wins, 86 podiums, three times second position and one third position overall in the WorldSBK championship are all achievements to be proud of.
“I want to say a sincere thank you to all those who have been involved in this project and to the Ducatisti who have supported me over the years! I’ll do my best this weekend to finish this chapter on a positive note and try to lock down another P3 in the overall standings.
“Although it has been 15 years since I last raced in Estoril, I have clear memories of the circuit. I can’t wait to go on track and be competitive in the last race weekend of this pretty particular season.”
With the news this morning that Honda will retain its riders for the 2021 WorldSBK Championship, Davies has no factory-backed options available to him for next year. His best opportunity may be to align with a factory-supported satellite outfit, potentially Go Eleven or Barni which run Ducati machinery too, or a doubled up Ten Kate Yamaha effort.
Despite the set-back, he did take to Twitter to make some light of the situation…
Anyone got Dovi’s number? I hear he’s looking for someone to water his MX track next year.
Asking for a friend
— Chaz Davies (@chazdavies7) October 14, 2020