DAVIES BEATS PAIN BAR­RIER

A badly bro­ken back just three weeks ago can’t stop Du­cati star

Motorcycle News (UK) - - SPORT - GOR­DON RITCHIE IN AMER­ICA WSB REPORTER

Chaz Davies showed what he is made of at the week­end by fight­ing for race wins, de­spite suf­fer­ing hor­ren­dous in­juries just three weeks ago.

He had been laid up in an Ital­ian hospi­tal fol­low­ing a hor­ri­ble crash with Jonathan Rea at Misano. The im­pact was so hard that it broke, Rea’s front wheel as he rode over Davies. But, de­spite the in­juries which would leave a nor­mal hu­man out of ac­tion for months, Davies was not only back, but win­ning in La­guna Seca.

Speak­ing to MCN af­ter his in­cred­i­ble and per­fectly man­aged race one win, Davies said he did not ex­pect to be win­ning.

“I hon­estly did not think I could win,” said Davies, slumped in a chair af­ter win­ning a race held in track tem­per­a­tures that touched 60°C. “It is one thing turn­ing up fit and healthy, and be­ing in the rhythm, but to turn up not 100%, you just never know how it is go­ing to feel. On Fri­day it was clear from the first laps that I was not suf­fer­ing on the bike, which is good. What takes its toll is three weeks of be­ing sat down. I tried to pack in a few days ex­er­cise be­fore the race week­end so I did not feel too bad. But once you get on the bike, it is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent load on the body. Stuff that I do day-to-day I just was not able to do, so to com­pete here and com­plete two 25-lap races, at the most phys­i­cal track, in tough con­di­tions, is amaz­ing. I have got to be pretty happy with that. Satur­day’s win was spe­cial. All wins are good but that was spe­cial.”

Davies, who has pre­vi­ously raced in the Amer­i­can su­per­bike se­ries, has a spe­cial affin­ity with La­guna. His team-mate Marco Me­landri also has good form at La­guna, but was way off the pace in both races.

Davies said: “I am not sure why I go so well here re­ally, but I do like the place. It is a great track to ride. You can love a lot of tracks but it does not mean you are go­ing to go fast around them. It is a com­bi­na­tion of get­ting the set-up right and just gelling with the track. I pre­fer tracks with a bit of char­ac­ter to them. Ev­ery­body does. We have also won at Lausitz, and Magny-cours, which are flat, so it is just set-up and get­ting it right on the day.”

Start­ing from ninth, due to the re­verse grid for race two, Davies was un­able to repli­cate his race one hero­ics. He said. “I had a bit of a strange thing go on af­ter a few laps. I had a bit of a tech­ni­cal is­sue which I thought was Xavi Fores’ bike, but when I got ahead of him, re­alised it was mine. There was a lot of noise, so it was pos­si­bly some­thing with the ex­haust. Whether it changed any­thing, or not, I don’t know. I tried to get Tom but could not pull him in enough and was suf­fer­ing a bit with the throt­tle con­trol and the avail­able side grip.”

Rea is cat­a­pulted into the air af­ter rid­ing over a stricken Davies at Misano Davies showed in­cred­i­ble grit to win on Satur­day af­ter his mas­sive crash at Misano

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