Jacksdale’s Kyle Ryde took a thrilling victory in the opening Bennetts British Superbike Championship race at a sun-kissed Donington Park this afternoon. With teammate Brad Ray starting second and Ryde in third, a superb qualifying session earlier in the day set the scene for race one around the National layout at the former home of the British Grand Prix.
In a titanic battle with McAMS Yamaha’s Jason O’Halloran, teammate Brad Ray and Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Racing’s Lee Jackson the former British GP2 champion took the lead from Ray at mid-distance and controlled the pace from the front. O’Halloran’s pace picked up in the closing stages as he picked off Brad Ray before challenging Ryde for the lead. The Australian out-braked the Ryde on the entry to Roberts Chicane but compromised his exit allowing Ryde to out-drag him to the line to take his first victory in RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha colours.
Kyle Ryde, Race Winner: “That’s been a long time coming; I’m so happy to be back on top of the podium. I’ve sometimes doubted myself after a difficult year last year but that really was special. On the slowdown lap, I realised that this was the best feeling of my career so far and I can’t thank the RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha team enough for standing by me and giving me all the support possible. We have two more races tomorrow so let’s see what we can do!”
Brad Ray, 3rd Place: “I’m a little bit disappointed as I felt we had the pace for the win; it wasn’t to be today but it’s another great top-three finish. We’ve extended our lead in the championship with another useful podium credit. I’m really happy for Kyle, he deserved that, and to do it in front of his home fans is pretty special. The RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha team has worked hard to give me a great package, but we need to find a little bit more for tomorrow and get back on that top step.”