He's out for a repeat performance after scoring maximum points last year. Chaz Davies hopes for a comeback at Magny-Cours after a disappointing Portimao round. Though the title is now out of reach, there is still second place to fight for.
The Welshman recalls the 2016 French round: “Last year we were fast at Magny Cours, but most of all we played two smart races - he points out - We gambled on intermediate tyres for Race 1 and it paid off, then we simply looked after our tyres well in Race 2. At the end of two very different races, we came out on top.
The Ducati Aruba rider doesn't mind this particular circuit: “The track is quite good for our package, but that also applies to our main rivals. In the last round we struggled a bit, but we understood why and I expect us to be much closer in France and put up a fight. The weather is always a point of contention there, and it’s quite unpredictable: we had a bit of everything in the past, from summer days to freezing cold, so there’s no real way to prepare for it. We’ll just do our homework and try get the job done on track."
On the other side of the garage, Marco Melandri appears to have opted for continuity. In the last three races, the Italian has crossed the line third each time, and now he hopes for something more: “Magny Cours is a diverse track, with very different sections and, in general, a really interesting layout - he analyses -There a couple of hard-braking areas, as well as some flowing segments, so it’s never easy to find a good compromise with the setup. If anything, the tarmac should be less bumpy than in the last couple of rounds.
#33 is not letting down his guard. Despite a win at the French track in 2014, he knows he'll also need to deal with the unknown that is the weather: “The weather usually plays a key role in Magny Cours, and I hope we race in dry conditions because, even if I won in the rain there in the past, the grip is really low on a wet track. Also, I barely did any laps in the wet with the Panigale R. Surely, if it rains, there will be virtually no room for mistakes, but we’re confident and ready to play our best cards from now until the end of the season” he concludes.