Ex-WorldSBK star Chaz Davies is already popping out of retirement…

Chaz Davies will pop out of retirement for a one-off outing in the Le Mans 24 Hours race, the opening round of the 2022 Endurance World Championship

Chaz Davies - Aruba.it Ducati

Chaz Davies is returning to the track just four months on from announcing his retirement from racing after being called up to Ducati’s Endurance World Championship line-up for the Le Mans 24 Hours season opener.

The Welshman called an end to his competitive career at the conclusion of the 2021 WorldSBK Championship after a successful career that yielded 32 WorldSBK victories and a WorldSSP Championship title.

With a series of ongoing injury issues motivating the decision to take a step back from racing in favour of a new role at Ducati as a rider coach, Davies will nonetheless be back in his leathers later this month as part of the ERC Endurance Ducati team.

Replacing the injured Lorenzo Zanetti - who suffered a series of injuries in a serious accident during the CIV Italian opener at Misano - Davies will compete alongside David Checa, Xavi Fores and Marc Moser in the round-the-clock classic on 16 April.

“Lorenzo is still in hospital with a lot of broken bones and we are not sure if he can ride in Spa, but for Le Mans it will be Chaz Davies replacing him,” said ERC Endurance-Ducati CEO Uwe Reinhardt. 

“Chaz is an old Ducati factory rider so he has a lot of experience and I hope he can go for a podium, this would be very important.

“It’s very bad for Lorenzo because the Pre-Test was very successful, it’s very disappointing to lose him for this race but he’s a great team member and it was good that all the riders were at the same speed. But we talked for one hour with Chaz and he said, ‘okay, I want to ride’ and for him this is also a dream.”

Davies is the latest high-profile addition to the Le Mans event, following on from ex-MotoGP rider Bradley Smith, who was named with the MOTO AIN Yamaha squad earlier this month.