Ducati racer Chaz Davies: Mind games part of competitions
Ducati racer Chaz Davies takes mind games and bad spills in his stride
The roar of a signature twin-cylinder engine got everyone's attention.
The special guest for the night, World Superbike Ducati racer Chaz Davies, was making a deafening entrance on a Ducati superbike.
As Davies smoked the rear tyre of his Ducati Panigale 1299, cheers erupted from the guests packed inside the newly renovated Ducatisti SG showroom in Eunos.
Davies, known as just Chaz among fans, was one of several guests who had flown in for the event on March 15.
The Briton's presence was also to mark Ducati's sterling performance in the second leg of the World Superbike championship at the Buriram circuit in Thailand.
Biker Boy cornered Davies to talk about the competitive world of superbike racing.
"The races in Thailand were really good considering that they would be the hardest for us in the season... To come away with a fourth and a third is a great result," says the 29-year-old from Wales.
Last year, Davies didn't do well at the same circuit. He crashed in both races, finishing 11th and 15th.
Despite that, Davies finished runner-up in the 2015 World Superbike championship.
"I think that's key to being a professional motorcycle racer - to brush off the bad days and look forward to the better ones," he says.
It's a motto he has honed since racing as a junior. At 9, Davies came in first in the British Minimoto Junior championship.
COMING IN HOT: Davies (seated) meeting a fan. TNP PHOTOS: ZAIHAN MOHD YUSOF
He owes his success to his team, a well-tuned race bike, fans and his family who "live and breathe" racing.
After coming in second in Race 1 at the start of this year's race season in Australia, Davies crashed in the final lap of Race 2 while battling for the lead.
"It was encouraging to see so many messages of support, people loving the attitude of going for the race win, rather than playing it safe and collecting 20 points.
"My big belief is that when you have the opportunity... you need to try to win the race," says Davies, who was World Champion in 2011 in the World Supersport championship.
Away from the public eye, few see the tension among racers in the World Superbike paddock. Without mentioning names, Davies reveals that some competitors resort to "mind games".
"There's always somebody who will be trying something just to get that little advantage... That's competitive sport and that's the nature of it," he said.
Davies' weapon of choice is based on the factory Ducati 1199R. It's obviously tweaked within competition regulation and is different from the standard 1199R that consumers buy from showrooms.
The brakes are more powerful and the engine revs higher.
A host of sensors also help Ducati technicians and engineers understand vital data gained from racing.
Now, if you want to see Davies at his best, watch the next round of World Superbike racing in Spain on April 1.
Also, watch the video above to hear Davies' interview with Biker Boy where the racer opens up about hair gel, James Bond and yes, even Miley Cyrus.