MotoGP: Chaz Davies linked to second Aprilia seat
Ex-Aruba.IT Ducati WorldSBK rider Chaz Davies has been strongly linked to the vacant Aprilia seat for 2021.
Chaz Davies, the rider ousted by Ducati in shock fashion at the end of the 2020 WorldSBK season, being replaced by hotshot Michael Ruben Rinaldi is the latest rider to be linked to Aprilia, following a huge list of names from Tito Rabat to Marco Bezzecchi, not forgetting Jorge Lorenzo also.
It seems that Aprilia are out for any rider who will give them a signature at the moment, a move which seemingly reeks of desperation as the MotoGP season is nearly finished and they are without a full time 2021 rider.
Originally, the squad had aimed to retain 1 x MotoGP race winner Andrea Iannone, but following on from his WADA 4 year ban from racing, he is no longer eligible to race, forcing Aprilia to look down other avenues.
Davies rode for Aprilia in WorldSBK in 2012 as a rookie, even winning a race
It is publicly known that they were in talks with Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow, however, Aprilia could not afford Dovizioso and Crutchlow got sick of waiting around for Iannone, which is fair, the last thing you want to do at a job interview is be told to wait in case someone better comes along, with Crutchlow opting for retirement over a full-time Aprilia ride, probably for the best given their reputation with British riders.
This is where Chaz Davies jumps into the picture, it is mentioned a lot that BT Sport supposedly have some magical agreement with Dorna which means that a British rider MUST be on the MotoGP field, this is however completely false, confirmed by BT Sport themselves.
It is preferred to have a British rider, but not a necessity, plus with Jake Dixon in the mix, Sam Lowes in form, John McPhee ageing away in Moto3 and Max Cook potentially entering the picture in Moto3, British riders have more than just one rider to shout about.
Chaz Davies could, however, be a good choice, he has been linked with the Go Eleven Ducati squad for 2021, but with a bitter taste in his mouth about Ducati, he may opt to chase the MotoGP dream, a category he has never raced in full time, only doing the odd replacement ride in the Pramac team in 2007.
Davies would be a fantastic choice for Aprilia, they would get an extremely experienced rookie who would be able to majorly influence development as he would have a completely blank slate about the MotoGP bike, yet has the knowledge of what a bike needs to win from his Ducati WorldSBK experience. At 33, Davies is a bit of a veteran, but still has 4-6 years left in him, and if he can pair up well with Aleix Espargaro, the Noale factory has more than enough ammunition to be able to fight for the front.
Davies won his last race for Ducati at Estoril
You see, there is another issue with Aprilia, Espargaro does not know how to win races, he more than has the talent to do so, but has never won a race in Grand Prix Motorcycle racing, therefore when faced with this situation which would be completely new to him, we do not know how he would react, but more than likely his reaction first time round may be a crash due to the pressure.
Davies with his 34 race wins in WorldSBK knows exactly how to win races, therefore will feel a completely different kind of pressure to Espargaro when in this position and would know how to manage said position better than his teammate, this is why Davies would be a great addition to the squad.
It remains to be seen what will happen, but it’s hard to be upset about the thought of a rider as fast as Davies coming to MotoGP.
Featured images – www.worldsbk.com