Chaz Davies lands satellite Go Eleven Ducati deal for 2021 WorldSBK season

Chaz Davies will do a direct swap with his factory Ducati successor Michael Ruben Rinaldi after landing Go Eleven Ducati deal for the 2021 WorldSBK season

Chaz Davies - Ducati

Chaz Davies will go head-to-head with his old factory Ducati team for the 2021 WorldSBK Championship after penning a fresh deal with the affiliated Team Go Eleven Ducati outfit.

The Welshman - a 31-time race winner and triple runner-up - has faced an agonising few weeks after finding himself out of a ride and frozen out of the factory options for 2021 when Ducati left it late in its decision to axe him from its line-up.

Bringing a slightly bitter end to a relationship that had stretched seven seasons, Davies will nonetheless remain on Ducati machinery in 2021 under the Team Go Eleven banner. It marks a direct swap with Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who raced with the Italian team in 2020 and was given the nod over Davies by the factory outfit.

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“I’m very happy to join forces with Go Eleven! I think it’s a great opportunity next year for myself and the Go Eleven Team to continue our progression. I had a great end to the 2020 season, winning the last race at Estoril and scoring the most points in the last nine races. 

“Go Eleven put together a great 2020 season as well. I think it has the makings of a really strong partnership for 2021 WorldSBK Championship.

“I am really excited about it, especially because I had a really good feeling with the bike, and I think that is something we could even take for the step when I am start testing next year. 

“So, thanks to Go Eleven for the trust and also thanks to the other partners helping put this together, to give us the chance to win next year: Ducati, ARUBA.IT and Feel Racing. Thanks to everybody involved and I’m just looking forward to getting started!”

A WorldSBK, WorldSSP and Superstock stalwart, Go Eleven enjoyed a breakthrough 2020 campaign courtesy of Rinaldi, who delivered the team its maiden win in Aragon and all-but-assured his route into the factory team.

Despite losing him, team manager Gianni Ramello is certainly delighted to have secured a worthy replacement in Davies.

“I wrote a book about my life and my dreams in the WorldSBK Championship,” Gianni Ramello. “Among my dreams there has always been Chaz, one of those riders who make you fall in love with this sport. Now what’s missing has arrived, to crown many years of sacrifices, a lot of commitment and a lot of passion. 

“It’ll certainly be a busy year; we all must give our best and bring Chaz to the top step of the podium every possible time. There is not only a great and huge happiness, but also the awareness of having a rider with an incredible history, who will now race for our Team Go Eleven.

“I especially thank Stefano Cecconi, Daniele Casolari, Serafino Foti, Gigi Dall’Igna and Paolo Ciabatti who believed in our skills, our professionalism and our great passion, which sometimes gives something special in races. Now we must not disappoint anyone and work with the maximum effort for the season, with the aim that it will be a great season.”

Davies vs Rinaldi: Ducati puts money where it mouth is for 2021 WorldSBK

While the two friends will play it down off-track, then on-track Davies’ Go Eleven Ducati deal sets up a fascinating premise for the 2021 WorldSBK Championship season… and will no doubt ramp up the pressure for Rinaldi..

Indeed, while a defeated Davies seemed to put the notion of joining either Barni or Go Eleven for 2021 to the back of his mind based on the abrupt end to his factory Ducati tenure, it seems the manufacturer have had a change of heart and has been instrumental in sourcing his new home.

Strictly speaking though, siphoning Davies to Go Eleven could create a few problems for Ducati as it puts its controversial decision to swap the two riders to the test right in front of us in 2021. 

 after its controversial decision to drop a rider that has won 27 traves in Ducati colours with an upstart that though impressive in 2020, if considerably less established.

With 27 races wins in Ducati red, Davies needs no introduction, whereas Rinaldi is significantly less proven with only one win and two podiums. That said, Rinaldi is a future Ducati wants to invest in, being young and Italian, while he did have the measure of Davies more than once in 2020.

Suffice to say though, after Go Eleven tasted the winners’ champagne in 2020, it has a great opportunity now to do it again in 2021.