Ex-WorldSBK star Chaz Davies pulls out of Le Mans 24 Hour through illness

The ex-WorldSBK race winner and current Aruba Ducati rider coach has ruled himself out of action in the Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend due to a virus.

Chaz Davies - Aruba.it Ducati

Chaz Davies has announced today (13 April 2022) that he will not be participating in this year’s 24 Heures Motos race at Le Mans. 

Former WorldSBK rider, Chaz Davies, has maintained his Ducati links since stepping away from WorldSBK racing at the end of the 2021 season, as he is acting as a rider coach for Ducati's factory WorldSBK and WorldSSP riders. He was scheduled to race with the ERC Ducati team in this weekend’s opening round of the Endurance World Championship in Le Mans. 

The Welshman won 32 races and scored 99 podiums in his WorldSBK career, and was the closest rival to Jonathan Rea in the derivative series between 2016 and 2018. Davies was also the World Supersport champion in 2011 with Parkingo Yamaha, and raced 58 Grands Prix across the 250cc and MotoGP classes.

However, Davies has never raced in the endurance discipline, and the Le Mans 24 Hours, scheduled for this weekend (16-17 April), was set to be his debut in the FIM Endurance World Championship. 

That will not turn out to be the case, though, as Davies has contracted a virus - that he says is not Covid - which has left him “feeling incredibly rough,” according to a video posted to Davies’ Instagram story. 

Davies went on to say that he hopes he can make his endurance debut “another day, and I’ll be watching [Le Mans] from [...] the sofa.”

In another video posted to Twitter, Davies said that making the decision to withdraw from the race “was hugely disappointing, I was really looking forward to getting a taste of endurance racing, but it’s going to have to wait until another day.

There are a total of five FIM EWC rounds in 2022, with round two (24H Spa EWC Motos) taking place at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on 4-5 June. After that, there is the Suzuka 8 Hours on 7 August (the first edition since the pandemic), and the Bol d’Or on 17-18 September. The fifth race is still to be confirmed, but it would be great to see Davies at any one of them, and see how he compares on an endurance machine compared to the likes of Sylvain Guintoli of the World Champion team SERT Suzuki, Niccolo Canepa of YART Yamaha, or Mike di Meglio of FCC TSR Honda France.