Davies to get wildcard chance?
Wildcard ride on the horizon for Chaz
Chaz Davies will test Ducati’s Motogp missile in 2017 which could clear the path for a wildcard appearance in the near future.
Davies was in contention to replace the injured Andrea Iannone in the latter half of the 2017 season, but was held back by Ducati due to an impressive run of form that saw him take seven wins in the last eight races of the WSB season, according to Ducati sporting director Paolo Ciabatti.
Ciabatti said: “We thought about asking Chaz to replace Iannone, but it would have been in between two rounds of World Superbikes and he was doing great at the time. We wanted him to finish his season on a very positive note.
“But we also thought that he deserved a better chance, one where he was able to test the bike beforehand. It could have been a risk for him coming to Australia, and seeing the weather conditions there we were glad it didn’t materialise. Four dry sessions and a warm-up aren’t enough, nevermind in the conditions we had there.”
Instead, he’ll be repaid for his successes with a day to learn the machine before any potential wildcard appearances, taking part in a test at some point during the season.
Ciabatti said: “Next year, we have a clear mission to win WSB. With the points he scored in the last part of 2016 we could have been title contenders, and that will be our main target for 2017.
“Having said that, Chaz would like to do a full test where he has one day to
fully experience the bike and make all the adjustments he needs. We’ll try and find that possibility next year, because we’re curious to do it. We just need to find a time in the season to do it with the minimum of risks, because next year we have a very important mission and a real chance of being title contenders if we can maintain the momentum.”
With so many Ducatis on the grid in 2017 (eight), there’s every chance we could see the dynamic 29-yearold line up against Valentino Rossi and co in the next 12 months and while Davies remains focused on a serious WSB title challenge in 2017 he can’t wait to have a crack on the power-packed Motogp machine.
‘Chaz wants to do a test where he has time to experience the bike’