Davies on a Ducati in WSBK for 2014? Chaz Davies is rumoured to be closing on a deal that will see him join Ducati for the 2014 World Superbike Championship season, possibly alongside Ben Spies.
Embarking on his second season in the WSBK series, the Welshman is currently fifth in the standings with three wins to his name but is without a ride for 2014 following the announcement that BMW is withdrawing from the series at the end of the year.
With one less factory-assisted team on the grid, Davies’s hopes of landing a similar role with another manufacturer are slimming, particularly as Honda has now confirmed its riders, Kawasaki are expected to keep Loris Baz alongside Tom Sykes, and Aprilia are leaning towards Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli.
Leaving just Suzuki and Ducati as comparative options for 2014, notwithstanding a raft of privateer entrants, Davies is subsequently being targeted by the Italian manufacturer, five years after it approached him to join its MotoGP testing team.
Should a deal come to fruition, Davies could be joined in the team by Ben Spies. The 2009 WSBK champion is understood to be in negotiations to join the Superbike team as a compromise over his faltering two-year deal to race in MotoGP, the American having started just two races this season due to shoulder injuries.
Heading in the other direction, meanwhile, could be Eugene Laverty with the Irishman having revealed he is in talks with Pramac Ducati about joining MotoGP next season.
Despite some public disagreements between himself and Ducati manager Bernhard Gobmeier this year, Francis Batta’s Alstare team is still in line to continue running the ‘de facto’ factory Ducati effort next season, while leading Superstock team Barni Racing is expected to join the series with Niccolo Canepa.