Saturday at Phillip Island was definitely not a great day for Chaz Davies. The Ducati rider continued along the same lines of the tests and free practice sessions, scoring lower than expected and continuing to suffer on the Panigale V4 R. After a 16th place in the Superpole, Chaz struggled to maintain contact with the group of the best during the race, especially during the first laps, and he closed Race1 of the first round of the season in 8th place, more than 11 seconds from the Yamaha ridden by Razgatlioglu, who won the race, and Scott Redding, who was able to get on the podium.
“Actually, from mid-race onward, my pace wasn't bad," a disconsolate Davies said at the end of Race1. "I wasn't far from the best. The problem is the grip at the beginning." Today it really sucked and, in this condition, if you try to push, you kill the tires, so I had to stay calm and remain patient till end the race."
Did you have the same problems in qualifying too? You got almost a second and a half from Scott.
"Yes, I had other problems but always the same result which is one: 'not fantastic'. Scott did a great job managing to start from the front row, but he also couldn't improve much with the softer tire. The problems remain, since Rinaldi also struggled."
Have you talked about these problems of yours with Pirelli?
“The problem is not with the Pirellis but with the bike. We struggle to make the most of the qualifying tires, and we're faster with the race tires."
During the tests, these problems had not emerged. How many times have you tried the qualifying tires?
"I tried the tires a bit during the winter, twice in Portimao, and once in Jerez."
Do you think the situation could change tomorrow?
"I hope so. We'll make changes on the bike, not massive ones, but there will be. Especially to improve the rear and traction on the corners."
Audio recorded by Riccardo Guglielmetti