Chaz Davies to land an unexpected 2021 MotoGP lifeline with Aprilia?

Having lost his WorldSBK ride at Ducati, Chaz Davies could find himself moving on up to the MotoGP World Championship instead with Aprilia

Triple WorldSBK runner-up Chaz Davies could be set for an unexpected move into the 2021 MotoGP World Championship after being identified as a potential candidate to replace Andrea Iannone in the Aprilia team for next season.

The Welshman is currently without a ride after splitting with Ducati at the conclusion of the 2020 WorldSBK Championship following a lucrative seven season relationship that yielded 27 race wins in red.

With no factory seats remaining for him on the 2020 WorldSBK grid and Davies himself admitting there are few obvious options that appeal to him, there is growing speculation he could instead make his debut in the premier class to assume the seat vacated by Andrea Iannone.

Iannone was banned from racing for four years after losing his appeal against a drugs suspension, with the late call leaving Aprilia with few discernible options going forward having missed out on Andrea Dovizioso, who will take a sabbatical, and Cal Crutchlow, who will join Yamaha as a test rider.

Though Moto2 front runner Marco Bezzecchi has been mentioned as an option too, talk of Davies emerged after Aprilia boss Massimo Rivola admitted he is looking to WorldSBK for a potential candidate. 

“I always said our bike is not an easy bike so a rider with experience would be better but I see many young riders will start in MotoGP so maybe it is another good opportunity to go with the younger talent. Moto2 is a very good gym for MotoGP and Moto2. Even WorldSBK, we saw an American rider [Garrett Gerloff] being very fast in the wet…”

A MotoGP promotion would be an unexpected turn of events for Davies, who plied his trade in the GP ranks during the early stages of his career before making a name for himself initially in the American-based AMA series’.

It was while racing there that he was called up for a MotoGP stint way back in 2007 for Pramac Ducati, which in turn greased the wheels for a move into WorldSSP and then WorldSBK where he has competed since 2012.

Aiding Davies’ cause is the current absence of any British rider on the grid right now with Crutchlow and Bradley Smith unable to secure a spot for 2021. Commercial rights holders Dorna are known to want to keep at least one British representative on the grid, with Davies emerging as a potential preferred option for Aprilia.
 

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