The opening Bennetts British Superbike Championship race day of 2022 was a huge success for the RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha team as Kyle Ryde and Brad Ray fired their Yamaha R1 machines to second and third in a close-fought 24-lap race at Silverstone this afternoon. A race-long battle with Honda Racing’s Glenn Irwin saw the pair trade lap records in pursuit of the Northern Irishman before the chequered flag ended their push for the top step.
A strong showing in qualifying echoed the results from pre-season testing as both riders challenged for pole position before narrowly being beaten to it by Irwin. With both riders securing front row starts, it was the first of a handful of milestone moments across a super Saturday for the Cannock-based team. Fielding four Yamaha R1 superbikes for the first time in their history, RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha were further bolstered by their Road Racing team of Davo Johnson and James Hillier on track as the pair began their build up to next month’s NW200 and Isle of Man TT events.
A great start from Brad and Kyle saw them immediately settle into a rhythm behind Irwin. The Honda man rode smart though, keeping the dogged pair at bay for the entire race despite their best efforts at chasing him down. Brad Ray was the first to break the lap record only to be then broken again by Ryde with a stunning 53.171s lap! A last lap move from Ryde almost paid off for the win but Irwin held firm at the flag. A breathless end to fantastic race brought another milestone as both riders climbed the podium to celebrate an excellent day’s action. The pair start one and two on the grid for Sunday’s BSB Race 2 with Kyle in Pole Position achieving yet another team milestone to start 2022.
Kyle Ryde: “I’m over the moon with that race, it was great to be a part of. Glenn had a little more than us in some places and I had a little bit more in others so we evened out, but I couldn’t be happier to start the season off with a front row start and a podium. The team have worked mega through pre-season testing and this weekend to make the RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha R1 a joy to ride. We’re on pole position for tomorrow and we’ll see what the race brings.”
Brad Ray: “That was good fun. Apart from just one small moment at Woodcote when I nearly tagged Kyle, the race was a real fair battle. I tried to lead Kyle back to Glenn but we we’re stronger in different places and he passed me fair and square to take the challenge on. After almost clipping Kyle I lost a couple of tenths on him and in the end third was the best I had but felt very at home on my Yamaha R1. I’m happy with my performance and the RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha team, who put a fantastic bike underneath me. We’ll be looking to go one or two steps higher tomorrow, that’s for sure.”
Team Principal, Paul Curran: “That has been a great day for the RICH Energy OMG Racing team with our first double front row, first double podium and first one-two on the grid for the second race tomorrow. Brad and Kyle rode really well, they kept it clean, and you could clearly see they both wanted to win! Davo and James got all the track time possible and came home in respectable positions in that opening race. It’s been a lot of long hours in the workshop, and this is the result of all that hard work by the team and I couldn’t be happier. Thanks to the team, the riders and thanks to McAMS Yamaha and Yamaha Racing UK for all their support.”