It was a contrasting weekend for RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha pair Brad Ray and Kyle Ryde at Cadwell Park last weekend for Round 7 of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship. The annual ‘Party in the Park’ attracted a record crowd at the historic Lincolnshire circuit and the massed ranks of fans were treated to a feast of racing across the Bank Holiday Weekend.
The weekend got under way with a three-hour test session for the Superbike teams, giving Brad and Kyle ample time to dial in to the demanding layout and have an early understanding of the track ahead of the weekend. The session was much-needed track time for Kyle having only done a handful of laps around Cadwell Park on a superbike previously.
When the action began in earnest on Saturday it was Brad Ray who shone as he set a scorching final sector to take a stunning Pole Position in the one-lap shootout with the fastest ever two-wheeled lap of Cadwell Park with a 1:25.457s effort. There was joy and disappointment in Qualifying for Kyle Ryde as he set his own fastest-ever lap of Cadwell only to miss out on progressing to the Superpole session by an agonising 0.032s to start 16th on the grid for the eBay Sprint Race.
The initial 12-lap sprint race on Sunday afternoon was red-flagged due to a nasty incident on the Mountain section involving four riders but thankfully with no serious injuries were sustained but an hour delay due to track contamination. As the lights went out for the second time it was Brad Ray who got the hole shot and never looked back as he controlled the gap back to the chasing riders across through the race to take his fourth victory of the season and 5 valuable podium credits. Kyle Ryde improved his lap time and with it his race two grid position along with four much-needed points for 12th place.
Sunday brought cooler and overcast conditions for the afternoon’s two races over the longer distance of 18 laps. Great starts for both riders saw the pair make ground over the opening laps before Kyle faded back to 15th and a solitary point. At the front, Brad charged down leader Danny Buchan but to no avail as the pair were evenly matched in the closing stages but happy with a second podium visit and more credits to his name.
Race three followed a similar story as Kyle began well but couldn’t maintain the forward momentum around the difficult Cadwell Park circuit, dropping out of the points positions in the closing stages. It was as you were at the front as once again Buchan held off Ray for the win, but the Kent rider was delighted with another podium place and a big step forward in the race for the 2022 Bennetts British Superbike Championship crown.
Brad Ray, Championship leader: “It’s been a fantastic weekend with the race win on Saturday and two second places today; it would have been nice to take it to Danny today, but he had unbelievable pace so fair play to him. It’s not an easy track to race and there have been no other Yamahas on the podium so I’m super happy about that for me and the RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha team as we seem to have made the difference this weekend. It hasn’t been easy but it’s nice to close the gap on Jason on podium credits and good to be back in the championship lead. I’m looking forward to Snetterton with the Yamaha R1 and the package we have and to be fighting for more wins there.”Brad Ray, Championship leader: “It’s been a fantastic weekend with the race win on Saturday and two second places today; it would have been nice to take it to Danny today, but he had unbelievable pace so fair play to him. It’s not an easy track to race and there have been no other Yamahas on the podium so I’m super happy about that for me and the RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha team as we seem to have made the difference this weekend. It hasn’t been easy but it’s nice to close the gap on Jason on podium credits and good to be back in the championship lead. I’m looking forward to Snetterton with the Yamaha R1 and the package we have and to be fighting for more wins there.”
Kyle Ryde 8th overall: “It’s been very frustrating after yesterday, I really thought we could build on the lap time from race one. We made a big change for race two that unfortunately didn’t work, and it sapped my confidence a bit and just brought my Yamaha R1 home. We went back to Sunday’s settings, but I just didn’t have the confidence to make it work for me. We’ll draw a line under this weekend and regroup for Snetterton next time out.”
Chloe Jones, Junior Superstock “That was my toughest weekend of the season. Crashing out of the opening Free practice session put us on the back foot for the rest of the weekend and never felt comfortable in any session and to crash again on Sunday morning just compounded the weekend. I’m disappointed as I was looking forward to making a step on my Yamaha R6 but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. I’m sorry to my team, sponsors, and supporters but we’ll reset and be ready for Snetterton.”
Paul Curran, Team Principal “It’s been a weekend of two halves for our superbike riders with Brad riding the crest of a wave with his fourth win of the season and six podiums in a row whereas Kyle has struggled with the feeling on his Yamaha R1 and at somewhere as unforgiving as Cadwell Park it’s a far from ideal situation. He’ll regroup for Snetterton, he went well in the test at the start of the season as did Brad so we’ve high hopes for both riders as the regular season heads into the Showdown phase. Chloe had a weekend to forget in Junior Superstock, it started badly and never really recovered but she has our unconditional support, and we will see that step forward on track before long. It was a big effort all weekend from the whole team and now we look to Snetterton and securing our second showdown place.”