Chaz Davies (Parkingo MTC Racing Aprilia) as a private driver in his first WSBK season in 2012. For more on the earlier years of the near-series World Cup, see our current series and our richly illustrated history. After a very long time, the Welshman will start again as a privateer next season (© WorldSBK).

Chaz Davies like Valentino Rossi – back to being a private driver

The careers of the Englishman and the MotoGP icon could hardly be more different. Nevertheless, there are some interesting parallels between the two long-time pilots in the different championships. After many years as works drivers, you will both be back at the start as private drivers next season. In addition, they do not change manufacturers and they also swap places with a younger brand colleague. Another parallel concerns their first race in the category in which they will remain in the paddock in 2021. At the “Dottore” it was as a Honda factory rider in 2000 on the Phakisa Freeway in South Africa when he not finished his debut in the premier class. In the first two 500cc races, the Italian remained without points. The Welshman, on the other hand, landed in his first WSBK race in Imola in 2012 after 3 minutes together with Sylvain Guintoli in the gravel. He even had 3 falls in the first 4 races of the WorldSBK.

Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha) recorded by us just before the start of the MotoGP race in Jerez 2019. The old master can approach the coming season relaxed, as he is participating in MotoGP as a privateer for the first time. As a 9-time world champion, he no longer needs to prove anything to anyone.

The huge differences between the two careers

While Rossi won his 7 world championship titles, some with overwhelming superiority, Davies chases after his first number 1 status since 2012 without success. For the Italian, it was first Lorenzo and then Marquez who made life more and more difficult for him in the MotoGP premier class. The Welshman, on the other hand, had only one name in his prime from 2015, which caused nightmares. With Jonathan Rea he had a competitor who was a regular driver in WorldSBK from 2009, but had to wait 6 years for the final breakthrough. The combination of the Kawasaki ZX-10R and later ZX-10RR with the Northern Irishman is still the measure of all things in the near-series World Cup.

Chaz Davies photographed by us at the autograph session in Imola in May 2019 together with his teammate Alvaro Bautista. On the new Ducati, which he had been demanding for a long time, his short Spanish team-mate stood clearly in front of the sun. It was not until the Autodromo Dino e Enzo Ferrari that the Englishman was faster than the then world championship leader for the first time.

Chaz to his new private driver existence for 2021

Chaz: “At first there were moments when I thought that losing my works driver existence was the best way to stop. I’d won the last race, done my job, and went home and walked with my head held high. But there is still something burning inside me and I still have to score points and win races. For ambitions in the title fight, the most important requirement is an absolutely competitive bike and of course the right team behind it. To be honest, if I’m in a very strong position, then it’s in Ducati’s and my interests that I get full support, just like the works team.”

Chaz Davies ( Ducati) Photographed by us before the start in Aragon at the beginning of April 2019. The Welshman took his first podium after two difficult opening laps in Australia and Thailand, in which Bautista had won all races. The Spaniard also won all races in Aragon and then in Assen and only began to stumble from Imola on.

How does Chaz see his chances for the coming season?
Davies: “Since I will have the best material, this is also the basis to be able to fight at the very front. With a new crew and a new team boss, we at Team GoEleven are definitely well-equipped for this. My predecessor Rinaldi was able to win for this team last year. I am firmly convinced that with the Ducati V4R we will be able to compete for the title and for victories and podiums in the coming season. I still have the motivation and trust myself to be able to experience many more outstanding moments.

Chaz Davies photographed by us in the Superpole Race on May 12, 2019 in Imola’s Curva Tosa in a duel with Jonathan Rea. It was his redeeming moment on the new Ducati Panigale V4R, when he was faster than his teammate Bautista for the first time (in the back with 19 in the picture in front of Haslam, Lowes and van der Mark).

Chaz Davies’ WorldSBK career in numbers

In addition to faults of his own, the Welshman also fell behind often enough due to technical problems. As photographed here by us on March 17th, 2019 in the 2nd race of BuriRam (Thailand).

The unfinished provisional calendar for 2021 of the WSBK

Dorna manager Gregorio Lavilla originally wanted to introduce three new routes with the calendar for 2021, but for reasons that were not mentioned, this did not work. With the Mandalika Circuit on the island of Lombok in Indonesia as the only new course it will probably not work any more than with the events in San Juan (Argentina) and the Australian round. In MotoGP, too, the Dorna will soon have to cancel the overseas races. With the question marks at the beginning, there will definitely be changes in WorldSBK as well. When this will be is still open. But the unfinished provisional calendar will receive for sure various modifications.