Although he finished third in the 2020 Superbike World Championship and won the final in Estoril, Chaz Davies had to tremble for weeks about his sporting future. Now a delightful solution has been found for the Welshman.
Many fans around the world couldn’t understand why Ducati made this decision. Because apart from age, there was comparatively little in favor of Rinaldi.
Rinaldi made a big impression with his win and three podiums in Aragon. Ultimately, however, this is his only outstanding weekend in his three-year World Superbike career. In the 24 races for the Go Eleven Ducati team, the Italian showed impressive performances this year, racing into the top 8 18 times, finishing seventh in the World Championship and thus the best privateer.
On the other hand, there are two wins, nine podiums and 19 top five as well as third place in the World Championship for Davies.
It is quite possible that Ducati wanted to rejuvenate the Superbike team after Andrea Dovizioso was served in the MotoGP World Championship.
“The fact that I want to change things that would bring the whole team forward and make it more successful probably cost me my space,” Davies speculated at the SBK event in Magny-Cours.
Since mid-October at the latest, the Welshman has been thinking intensively what his sporting future could look like. Even then it was clear: there was no place for him in the works teams of BMW, Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha.
Ten Kate Yamaha showed interest in the 33-year-old. In between, Davies was even considered a candidate for Aprilia’s MotoGP factory team, but lost out to Lorenzo Savadori and Bradley Smith. From the beginning, the solution with Go Eleven was the most likely, i.e. swapping places with Rinaldi.
Even if Davies had fallen out of favor with parts of Ducati’s top management in Borgo Panigale, he always enjoyed the support of Feel Racing, the force behind the Ducati factory team. And from team owner and main sponsor Aruba, Stefano Cecconi’s IT company.
It has just become official: The Go Eleven and Chaz Davies team have agreed to work together in 2021!
For Go Eleven, Davies is a stroke of luck: Since 2008, Max Biaggi and Ruben Xaus, then under the name Sterilgarda Ducati, have not had such a successful driver under their contract.
The man from Knighton, 2011 Supersport World Champion on a Yamaha, captured 98 podiums and 32 victories in 237 Superbike races. This makes him the most successful active World Superbike rider after Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes. Since 2015, he has finished the World Cup in positions 2, 3, 2, 2, 6 and 3.
From 2015 to 2018 Davies was the only stubborn opponent of record world champion Rea – many pilots with significantly fewer wins than Davies became world champions.
When the Ducati V4R was introduced in 2019, Davies had great difficulties converting from the two-cylinder to the four-cylinder. 3 wins and 19 podium places with this machine show that he has now adapted.
“This is a great opportunity for Go Eleven and me to continue our development,” said Davies of the contract. «I had a great end of the 2020 season, winning the last race and collecting the most points in the last nine races. I believe we have a very strong partnership for 2021. I had a very good feeling for the bike recently and we can build on that when we test it next year. “
Teams and drivers for the 2021 Superbike World Championship:
Honda: Alvaro Bautista (E), Leon Haslam (GB)
WED Honda: Takahashi? Pomegranate? Towers? Rabat? Market?
BMW: Tom Sykes (GB), Michael van der Mark (NL)
Bonovo Action BMW: Jonas Folger (D)
RC Squadra Corse BMW: Eugene Laverty (IRL)
Pata Yamaha: Toprak Razgatlioglu (TR), Andrea Locatelli (I)
GRT Yamaha: Garrett Gerloff (USA), Kohta Nozane (J)
Ten Kate Yamaha?: Baz?
Ponsson Yamaha: Christophe Ponsson (F)
Kawasaki: Jonathan Rea (GB), Alex Lowes (GB)
Puccetti Kawasaki: Lucas Mahias (F)
Orelac Kawasaki: Isaac Vinales (E)
Outdo Kawasaki TPR: Loris Cresson (B), Mercado?
Aruba.it Ducati: Scott Redding (GB), Michael Rinaldi (I)
Go Eleven Ducati: Chaz Davies (GB)
Ducati Motocorsa: Axel Bassani (I)
Brixx Ducati: Sylvain Barrier (F)
Barni Ducati: Cortese? Baz? Rabat?
Bold = confirmed