RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha’s Brad Ray continued his 100% podium record in every race he’s finished in 2022 with a brace of second place finishes at Donington Park for round three of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship. The Lydd rider extended his lead at the top of the championship to 28 points after two determined rides around the National layout at the former home of the British Grand Prix.
Leading both races comfortably it was a resurgent Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) who chased Ray down in the closing stages of both races, denying the 25-year-old a chance to win a £10,000 bonus from Milwaukee Tools for winning four of the six Spring Cup races but took solace in claiming the Milwaukee Spring Cup Trophy to add to his three race trophies from the weekend. Nine races, eight podiums including two wins, Milwaukee Race of the North trophy winner and now Milwaukee Spring Trophy winner, it has been an exceptional start to the season for Brad Ray.
Teammate Kyle Ryde was carrying a wave of confidence into Sunday’s opening race but unfortunately there wasn’t to be a repeat performance of Saturday’s thrilling victory as the Nottinghamshire rider slid out of contention at Macleans. Ryde escaped the incident unscathed but the same couldn’t be said for his Yamaha R1 that cartwheeled through the gravel and into the tyre wall. In an exceptional display of teamwork, the crews from both sides of the garage worked tirelessly to get the machine ready for race three, completing the task with just minutes to spare before pit lane opened.
Starting from Pole Position alongside teammate, Brad Ray, it was the third pole position start of the season for Kyle, the sixth for the team in total and the fifth time the pair had locked out the first two positions. Quick to thank his crew in the pre-race interviews it was a battling performance from the Nottinghamshire rider to take fifth place at the flag and eleven valuable points in the chase for that all-important Showdown position.
Kyle Ryde, 4th overall 117pts: “I wasn’t sure I was going to make it out for that last race, but the RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha boys were incredible; there were six or seven people working on the bike at one point including technicians from Brad’s side. It was nice to repay them all with a strong result as I’m sure they were all pretty nervous after such a big job. The bike felt a bit different but that’s normal after a rebuild so it was important to come home in the best position possible to thank the team for their mega work. 36 points and a crash is not too bad and I got my first win with the team, so it’s been a strong weekend overall.”
Brad Ray, Championship leader 158pts: “That’s been another good weekend. I can’t complain about another three podium finishes, that’s eight in nine so the consistency is there and that’s exactly what we want at this stage of the season. Jason had a little bit more than me this weekend, but the RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha was exceptional as always so a huge thanks to my team for that. We’ve a break now while the boys head to the TT so we’ll reflect on the opening three rounds and then look forward to Knockhill.”
Paul Curran, Team Principal: “That’s been another really good weekend for the team, I couldn’t ask anymore of the riders or the crews. From Kyle’s deserved first win for us on Saturday to a full rebuild of his Yamaha R1 on Sunday afternoon is the contrast that superbike racing brings but the technicians all stepped up to help and I’m proud of the teamwork shown from both sides of the garage, so thank you to them all. Brad had another really strong weekend; his consistency is great to see and although he was disappointed not to come away with a win, he is fully aware of how vital it is to bank points and podium credits as the regular season unfolds.”