As the World Superbike Championship enters the final hurdle, Chaz Davies concedes this season has not gone entirely to plan
When BMW withdrew from WSBK at the end of last season, Davies moved to Ducati, racing a 1199 Panigale R, and his first season with the team has been a mixed one.
While the 27-year-old has achieved four top-three results, he has yet to take to the top step of the podium with Ducati.
And Davies admits that probably won’t happen in the final round of this year’s Championship as his Panigale is “a couple of steps” off the pace of the leading Kawasakis and Aprilias.
“It has definitely been an up and down season,” Davies told wsbk.com. “I feel at the moment we have been below expectations but generally the trend and the work with the team has always been positive and we are getting more competitive each and every time out.
“In the middle of the season, we were more or less in touch with the podium for quite a few races except at Magny-Cours, where I struggled. Generally I’m happy and quite satisfied, but obviously we want to do better, the long term goal is to look forward to next year.
“Normally we have shown a little bit better in the races, especially on my side of the garage. There have been rounds where I was stronger on the Sunday rather than in the previous two days.
“There have been times when both myself and Davide have struggled during races, for example in Malaysia because of the temperature and the conditions that affected our bike quite a lot.
“Generally there have been many rounds where the positives were on race day rather than during practice and qualifying. It has been very mixed but we have learnt something at every race and also from our mistakes.
“We still need to make a couple of steps forward before we can win a race but we also need to have the right circuit at the moment. There are times where we lose a little bit too much top speed, we are working on that and closing the gap all the time.”