It was smart strategy that won Chaz Davies the opening race of the French round of WorldSBK but in Race 2 it was patience and perseverance that won out. The Welshman clocked up his third win in four races and each have come in very different circumstances. A dominant victory in Germany started this rich vein of form but France showed how strong Davies has become. Having the mental strength to stick to his guns, and his intermediate tyre choice, in the opening race was contrasted with his patience in waiting for an opportunity to pass the Kawasaki riders in Race 2.
Afterwards Davies said that “the Kawasaki works in such a different way to the Ducati that it's very hard to get past them and our laptimes are so similar that sometimes you need to wait for a mistake or an opening.” On Sunday that opening came when Jonathan Rea tried to dive down the inside of Tom Sykes into the Adelaide Hairpin and as the two green machines squabbled for track position Davies was able to pick them off on acceleration.
It was a perfect move and one that left the Ducati rider in front of Rea and quickly trying to open a lead. That lead would turn into a second almost instantly and afterwards Rea said “I wanted to attack Chaz but he did such a good job to open that gap and I couldn't get back to him.”
For Rea his approach rewarded him with second position and allowed him to once again extend his championship over the race weekend. With Sykes finishing third the Englishman is now in an almost impossible championship position but said after the race that “we learned a lot of lessons this weekend and I feel a lot more comfortable on the bike.”
Those lessons will be put to good use in 2017 by Sykes but for now the WorldSBK field is at championship point with Rea trying to hold serve at Jerez.
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