Chaz Davies believes his two second place finishes are a good starting point as he looks to challenge for the World Superbike title in 2017. The Welshman was beaten in two photo finishes by Jonathan Rea but was keen to take the positives from the opening weekend at Phillip Island.
Having crashed while trying to beat Rea in Australia twelve months ago, Davies was keen to avoid a repeat and was pleased with his return of 40 points from the weekend.
“Today’s race was a bit more difficult to manage, given the hotter conditions. The glass is half full though, without a doubt. We tried something different but we lost a couple of bike lengths here and there and we just couldn’t pass Rea before the finish line. When you look at the full picture, this is a really positive result. It would be easy to be disappointed because we barely missed two wins, but historically this has never been a favorite circuit for me and sometimes I lost precious points here, so two second places are a good building block for the rest of the season.”
Aruba.it Ducati team-mate Marco Melandri claimed a podium finish in race two on his return to World Superbikes and believes he can take the fight to the top two as the season progresses.
“It was a really tough race today. I got a good start but lost positions in the traffic early on, so I had to push hard to climb back, asking a lot to both myself and the tyres. When I took the lead, I tried to impose my own rhythm but it turned out not to be the right move. With three laps to go, when Rea and Davies gave the final push, I was struggling with grip and couldn’t attack them. Still, we needed a full race to understand where to improve, and a podium shows that we’re working in the right direction with the whole team.”