Chaz Davies finished a 24-hour motorcycle race for the first time after he and his ERC Endurance Ducati team-mates placed fifth in the 24 Heures Motos, round one of the FIM Endurance World Championship, on Sunday.
Davies was a non-finisher on his twice-around-the-clock debut in the 24H SPA EWC Motos last June before injury put him out of the Bol d’Or in September.
With team-mates David Checa and Philipp Öttl, Davies made it through all 24 hours on the Circuit Bugatti in Le Mans following a strong performance from the German squad.
“What a whirlwind experience it was to get through,” Davies wrote on Facebook. “Loved and hated it in equal measure but already looking forward to the next one. Officially hooked on endurance racing.”
The multiple Superbike World Championship race winner added: “It was great to see the chequered flag. It was a really good experience to get through that race and the night, to get up in the morning and ride through that fog – which was really extreme – and face all those challenges you have to face through a 24 hours. Everybody in the team can be really proud what they did – from my team-mates to the mechanics to the hospitality staff.
“We did a perfect race. Unfortunately, we didn’t finish on the podium [but] we definitely had the pace to do so. We held the podium position quite long in the race and opted to go for a maintenance interval, which we saw afterwards would not really have been necessary. I guess we played it a bit too safe there and maybe it would have been better to just go for the podium. This is a learning process for everybody.”
The 36-year-old from Wales continued: “We gained a lot of information from this race, both personally but also from the mechanical side about the bike and what points we have to work on – and which we don’t have to work on – for the next race. I feel I had really exciting times this weekend. Again, thank you to all involved in the ERC Endurance Ducati team. I am ready to go for the next one.”