The Ducati race was decided at the first turn in Portimao, with Davies and Bautista involved. Chaz took off like a lightning bolt, unlike Alvaro, and the two found themselves in close contact at the first turn. It was the Spanish rider who was worse off, forced to raise his Panigale and lose lots of positions. Davies, on the other hand, recovered and managed to reach a 2nd place at the end of the race.
There are also those who believe the two touched each other.
“I didn't feel any contact," said Chaz. "I braked late and aggressively. I was very focused because I wanted to have a good race. Unfortunately, Alvaro was outside. I feel bad for him, but that's how races are."
Rea didn't have any problems. Wasn't there any way to hinder him?
"Johnny made the difference in the first 4 laps of the race, as he had already done with the qualifying tires. He was able to take advantage of new tires, and this has never been my strong point. His pace was simply better in the first few laps.”
Were you hoping for a result like this, starting off 12th?
"I'm still happy to have been the best among the others. The bike worked well, although I struggled a little. After qualifying, it was a good result."
Why are the so many difficulties in Superpole?
"It was my fault in qualifying. It was a crappy lap. I tried to push too hard and made too many mistakes. The direction of the wind had changed and pushed me a out a bit at the first corner, where I was particularly strong. A few things didn't go in the right direction."
Can you invent something against Rea in tomorrow's sprint?
"The problem with the Superpole Race is that it's shorter and, like I said, this doesn't benefit me. We need some finishing touches for tomorrow and, the good thing is, I'll have an opportunity to improve my position on the grid for Race 2. That'll be the most important aspect."
Were you able to finally fix the set-up of your Ducati?
"I was sure I had found the right one. I had good sensations in the tests, and yesterday I also did well right away. It's still not all perfect. There's still some progress to be made, but I'm far better than I was before Laguna Seca."
How has your Panigale changed?
The bike is all different: front, rear, height, everywhere. For the most part, it was a set-up job, but there's also some small new component that helped me, both in terms of the bike and the engine.”
You'll have a new teammate next year. What do you think of Redding?
"I know a little about Scott, and he's a real fun guy. I expect I'll have a good relationship with him, like I did with Alvaro and Marco. The best thing about Redding is that he has the same build as me, in the past few years, I've had teammates that were smaller and lighter. We'll be very similar next year.
Can you help him get to know the Ducati?
"I don't think I'll have to teach him anything. He's a professional. He'll find his way on his own. In the end, your teammate is the first rider you have to beat."
Did you expect Bautista's farewell?
"I honestly didn't."
Audio recorded by Riccardo Guglielmetti