Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) did not set any records in the recent Dorna tests at Misano but he did find something that he and his team have been trying to find for some time – front end feel
Not a bad thing to find as the undulating and chassis-critical Laguna Seca circuit looms across the Atlantic horizon, as he tries to rebuild his fading championship challenge. For the neutrals, a resurgent Ducati effort from both official riders, Davies and Davide Giugliano, would be more than welcome to stem the Kawasaki domination of late.
“We worked on a different setting in the front – in general we fixed one thing that I was hoping to at least make some headway with,” said Davies, who explained that it was, “to get more feel coming off the brake. It is the first time that we have made inroads in that area. It was a good step and I was happy about that.”
Part of the reason for the lack of pure pace at the tests in Italy – he was seventh fastest in lap times – come from the fact that Davies had a less powerful engine to use, not a full-on race version. This meant his test was not quite a like-for-like comparison with race weekend. “We were using the test engine, and this one seemed to have a very different character to a normal race engine. That’s got to be looked into. That kind of upset our day a little bit. The first run was all a bit weird and then trying to figure it out from there for couple of hours. I had got used to it by then. Definitely down on power by a good stretch and a different character of power as well. Not ideal really but otherwise the only thing I can be positive about is this thing that has been annoying me in the front, and we seem to have managed to make a bit of headway.”
By Gordon Ritchie, Photography by Gold n Goose