WorldSBK

What next for Chaz Davies after Ducati WorldSBK axe?

Chaz Davies reveals he has 'nothing on the table' where the 2021 WorldSBK Championship is concerned following his Ducati axe

Chaz Davies has reacted to the news that he won’t be retained by Ducati for the 2021 WorldSBK Championship after it confirmed Michael Ruben Rinaldi alongside Scott Redding for next season.

Ahead of this weekend’s Estoril WorldSBK finale, Aruba.it Ducati announced Rinaldi would come on board to replace Davies, a surprising outcome amid reports it was initially leaning towards maintaining the current set-up, albeit with Rinaldi’s Go Eleven outfit receiving works support in a pseudo three rider line-up.

However, a change of strategy has seen Davies frozen out of Ducati’s plans, which at this late stage in the year means he has no other factory option after Yamaha and Honda also confirmed its riders this week.

A 31-time race winner - and thrice runner-up to Rea in 2015, 2017 and 2018 - Davies admits he has ‘nothing on the table’ for 2021 as it stands.

“I have been aware of the news a little bit longer but I am disappointed not to be able to continue with the Aruba.it Ducati team in 2021, it was my intention to continue but they had different ideas. I am disappointed and see what the next thing is.

“Honestly at this point with it being so late in the season every factory seat is already sewn up. Very little on the table, actually nothing on the table. That doesn’t stop me evaluating what could be possibilities but I am not too confident about finding what I think is the right package to challenge for a world championship.”

What options are available to Chaz Davies on the 2021 WorldSBK grid?

With all ten official factory seats now signed and sealed, Davies’ best hope on the WorldSBK grid would be a manufacturer-supported satellite effort.

It wouldn’t necessarily be beyond Davies to go for a satellite outfit - he won a race in his debut season of WorldSBK on a privateer Aprilia [pictured] - while there are several riders that have gone on to achieve success away from the factory umbrella, such as Carlos Checa on the title-winning Althea Ducati (2011) and Max Biaggi on the Sterilgarda Ducati (2008).

On paper, a team like Kawasaki might consider Davies an excellent experienced option as it prepares to  introduce a new ZX-10R, though its closest customer - Puccetti Racing - has already confirmed Lucas Mahias for 2021 so that would require it to swell to a second bike.

Similarly, Ten Kate Racing - which has factory support but is otherwise independently prepared - might attempt to increase to a second bike for 2021 alongside Loris Baz, though Yamaha favourite Jonas Folger might be ahead of Davies in this pecking order.

Failing that, BMW has confirmed it will enter a satellite outfit next year, which would mark a return to German machinery for Davies after he raced with the manufacturer in 2011 and 2012.

Honda might re-evaluate its satellite effort given MIE Racing’s struggles in 2020, where its contracted Takumi Takahashi is currently racing.

Finally, Go Eleven and Barni might be tempting as a means of Davies showing Ducati what it could be missing by jumping on a Panigale V4 R there
 

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