Davies to get wild­card chance?

Wild­card ride on the hori­zon for Chaz

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - SI­MON PAT­TER­SON MO­TOGP RE­PORTER si­mon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

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

PAOLO CI­A­BATTI

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’

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