This weekend saw the Bennetts British Superbike paddock descend on arguably the home of British motorcycle racing, Cadwell Park, for Round 8 of the 2023 Championship. Taking place over the August Bank Holiday weekend, it was set to be one of, if not the most popular weekend of the season so far, with in excess of 50,000 fans expected across the 4-day event.
The long weekend would kick off officially on Friday evening with a 2 & ½ hour test session for the Superbikes, which would provide some riders almost 60-laps of the 2.2-mile circuit, situated in the rolling countryside of rural Lincolnshire. Both the LAMI OMG Racing riders would complete circa 30 laps each, resulting in Ryan missing out on the fastest time by just 0.079 of a second, finishing the session P2. Kyle would miss out on P3 by the very narrowest of margins, his fastest lap 0.002 off the Yamaha of O’Halloran.
This would have the team champing at the metaphorical bit heading into Saturday’s Free Practice (FP) sessions. With the promise of a spot in Sunday’s Omologato Superpole for the Top 12 finishers, it was all hands to the pumps to ensure both Ryan & Kyle were on their A-game heading into FP1, but as expected, we needn’t have worried. By the time the session had finished, just before lunch, Kyle had crossed the line P2, less than 0.1 of a second off the top spot, with Ryan just behind him in P3. Banking these times in FP1 would prove to be a blessing for the team, with FP2 delayed due to a huge rain shower both before & during the session, meaning the track would be considerably slower. All this guaranteed both riders a spot in the all-important Omologato Superpole on Sunday-a fact that was made even more special for the team following Brad Ray posting the fastest ever 2-wheeled lap of the circuit during the same session in 2022.
Sunday morning would see blue skies and a mercifully dry track, with another Free Practice session starting at 10am on the dot. 20 minutes later, Ryan would take the flag P2, just 0.020 off P1, with Kyle rounding out the Top 4. The final Free Practice session of the day would take place just before Qualifying kicked off, seeing both riders yet again in the Top3, this time with Kyle P2 & Ryan P3.
Thanks to the threat of rain meaning the standard Omologato Superpole procedure could be deemed potentially unfair, Race Director Stuart Higgs & his team would declare a wet protocol, meaning a standard 15-minute session was the order of the day. This would ultimately work in our favour, with Ryan posting a spectacular 1:25.847, faster than the current Lap Record on his third lap of the session, securing his first outright BSB Pole Position in the process.
On Lap 5, Kyle would go purple (fastest of the session) in Sector 1 & green (fastest by that rider during that session) in Sector 2 on Lap 5, before rain started falling just a few seconds short of the finish line, scuppering what was anticipated to be a time even faster than Ryan’s. Despite falling rain, he would stay on track for the remainder of the session, making the best of the drying track in the closing stages, eventually snagging P4 for Race 1.
Race 1 was to be one of the most exciting races of the season so far, and see both LAMI OMG racers on the podium at the same time for the first time this year. Ryan would use his Pole start to maximum effect, securing the holeshot, but was pipped for the lead on the first lap by the faster Ducati of Glenn Irwin, although he would push the Irishman for the remainder of the session, briefly taking back the lead at Charlie’s on Lap 11, before being passed and settling in for the rest of the race.
Kyle would make a good start to hold his position in to Turn 1, before passing the BMW of Haslam on Lap 3 for P3. The next lap would see Ryde catching his teammate, pulling out the lead on the Yamaha of O’Halloran, before passing Ryan on Lap 5 for P2, the position he would hold until the close.
Bank Holiday Monday would bring two Superbike races for the tens of thousands of fans lining the track, but before that it was time for a quick warm up, which would see Kyle top the times, with Ryan backing him up just 0.063 behind.
Race 2 would see Kyle starting on the front row in P3, with Ryan just behind in P4. The latter would make a spectacular start, grabbing the holeshot, before dropping back to P2 mid-lap. That wouldn’t last long though, as he took back the lead heading into the next lap, pulling out an almost half second gap on Haslam by the close of Lap 4. He would defend well, keeping hold of the lead until Lap 7, where a crash would see him retire early from the race, unfortunately ending his weekend before he had the chance to secure another win.
For Kyle it would involve some intense but fantastic battles, after losing ground slightly on Lap1 for P5. Lap 2 would see him pass Jackson for P4, before taking Storm Stacey for P3 on the next lap. By Lap 6 he would be closing in on the front pairing of Ryan & Haslam, having posted a time just 0.003 off the former’s Fastest Lap on Lap 4. By Lap 9 he would be just 0.156 off the BMW rider, before both were passed by Jackson, taking Kyle with him on Lap 10, before eventually taking the lead from the Cheshire Moulding’s Kawasaki rider on Lap 14. He would lead the race until the very final lap, whereby he’d be overtaken by Irwin to take the chequered flag P2.
For Race 3 LAMI OMG Racing would have just one bike on track, as Team Principal Paul Curran had taken the decision to pull Ryan from the session due to an injury on the very wrist he’d had operated on just a few months before. Kyle would start the session P2, a position he would hold until Lap 5, at which point he’d pass Haslam into the hairpin, all the time being chased down by Irwin, who would pass him on Lap 8, bringing teammate Tommy Bridewell & Haslam back through on Lap 9 for P4. For the remainder of the session he would fight hard, keeping O’Halloran at bay behind him whilst simultaneously making up ground to try and secure P3, crossing the line just 0.224 off another podium to round out the weekend.
This weekend would also see the first outing for Casey O’Gorman, the young rider who impressed the team so much at Thruxton just a few weeks ago, onboard his new LAMI OMG Racing British Supersport Yamaha R6. Unfortunately the weekend would not go his way, as the former British Talent Cup winner & Red Bull Rookie would take a tumble during Free Practice on Saturday, ending his weekend early due to exacerbating an existing injury.
The positive weekend sees LAMI OMG Racing leave Cadwell Park P2 in the Teams’ Standings, less than 35 points adrift of the top spot. Kyle Ryde remains P3 in the Riders’ Standings, less than 37 points off the lead, with Ryan P8, despite having missed an entire round earlier in the year. With the return to normal points scoring returning at Oulton Park in just a few weeks’ time, it’s all still very much to play for, and the team will be looking to retain their spot as BSB Champions for a second year on the trot.
Alan Gardner, LAMI OMG Racing Team Owner – “Firstly I’d like to say a massive thank you to the team for all of their hard work this weekend. Both Kyle & Ryan have done amazingly from start to finish, and had it not been for Ryan’s incident in Race 2 I’m convinced we would’ve seen at least another podium, if not 2. It’s a massive shame that Casey was unable to make the most of his first weekend on the R6, but I’ve got every confidence that once he’s fit and well he’s going to show up some of the more experienced riders, without a doubt. We’re still well in contention to take our second championship victory, and I know we’re all getting more excited as we reach the last part of the season.”
Paul Curran, LAMI OMG Racing Team Principal – “After last year’s Omologato Superpole with Brad, the pressure was on for this year for sure. We may not have had a win, but Ryan bagging his first ever outright BSB Pole was amazing, and grabbing our first double podium of the season was a great feeling too. What happened with Ryan in Race 2 was disappointing, as I really think we were on for a podium, perhaps even a win, but we made the decision to pull him from the last race to make sure his wrist is well enough to compete properly at Oulton Park. Kyle had his best ever Cadwell performance and put on a spectacular display for the legions of fans that were lining the course cheering him on. He definitely showed everyone why he’s more than worthy of lifting that Championship trophy at the end of the season, and I can’t wait to see what he does at Donington in a couple of weeks.”
Casey O’Gorman, LAMI OMG Racing British Supersport #67 – “It’s been frustrating for me, as when I was out learning the track, I had a massive high side, and after FP2 I just couldn’t ride anymore. It’s been really useful though spending time with the team, analysing data with Ryan, Kyle & Tommy [Hill], as well as getting to do rider signings, talk shows and some PR work. The aim is to be back out at Oulton Park, but either way I’m really excited for Donington in a few weeks’ time-it’s one of my favourite tracks, I’ve got loads of experience and I won my British Talent Cup Championship there, so I’m feeling confident.”
Ryan Vickers “For me the weekend has been amazing-I’ve been in the Top 3 in every single session, between P1 & P3. It definitely shows our strengths, being a circuit that we haven’t been to in a year, especially as other teams have been here testing. Race 2 was frustrating as we were starting to get into the rhythm in the lead and pull out a bit of a gap, before I missed a gear at Park and ended up going in way too hot basically. I ended up folding the front end at the apex, the bike came over the top of me and I tried fending it off with my hand. Fortunately from the first Xray it doesn’t appear to be broken, but we’re getting another this week just to be sure. But it is what it is-it was a small mistake that 3 out of 4 times wouldn’t have caused a crash, but we’re so strong at the minute, so I need to concentrate on getting fixed back up and being in the hunt at Oulton.”
Kyle Ryde “I think that the last race was actually the best for the bike-it’s just a shame I had the 3 fastest bikes on the grid in front of me! I tried my best to pass Leon on the last couple of laps but just couldn’t get close enough. The weekend’s been great though, getting two P2s & a P4 at what used to be a bogey track for me and is now one of my favourites. Bring on the rest of the season, where we’ve got loads of suspension data and know we can do well, and the points go back to normal. We’re still gunning for that top spot!”