Last weekend saw the penultimate round of the 2023 Bennetts British Superbike Championship
at Derbyshire’s picturesque Donington Park, under wildly varying weather conditions. LAMI
OMG Racing entered the penultimate round P2 in the Ceratizit Teams’ Trophy, 60.25 points off
the top spot, with Kyle Ryde P3 in the Riders’ Standings, just 0.25 points adrift of that. With 25
points on offer for a race win, it was all to play for, and the team’s riders wouldn’t disappoint.
Friday’s FP1 would see both Ryan Vickers & Kyle Ryde head out at the very start of the
40-minute session, ensuring they maximised their time on track. This would pay off, with both
riders in the Top 3 by mid-session, with Kyle eventually crossing the line P1, 0.372 clear of the
pack, whilst Ryan would cross the line just 0.379 off in P3.
FP2 would again see both riders head straight out, with Ryan this time leading the train, as well
as being the first rider into the 1:27s on Lap 15, eventually finishing the session P2 despite
running on old tyres. He would be bested by his teammate, who would only top his time by
0.049 with 10 seconds of the session to go. It was all looking positive heading into Saturday.
Saturday’s Qualifying 2, which both riders had secured places in, would be wet, and see Kyle
place P3 & Ryan P9, despite the latter being less than 0.4 seconds off Kyle.
With the Bennetts Sprint Race drawing close, the weather gods would decide we needed a race
even wetter than the already drenched Qualifying session, and sent the appropriate conditions.
So wet was it, in fact, that Stuart Higgs & his team decided to both delay the race, and shorten it
to 10 laps.
The soaking track wouldn’t deter Ryan, though, as he would make a demon start from P5 to get
the holeshot, pulling out a lead of more than 2 seconds as he completed the first lap,
lengthening to in excess of 5.5 seconds mid-way through Lap 7. He would, perhaps
unsurprisingly, cross the line P1, almost 4 seconds ahead of anyone else.
Kyle would start well, holding P3 into Turn 1, before dropping to P11 in Lap 2, and down to P16
by the close of Lap 4. By the time the flag dropped he would have battled his way back up to
P11, banking points, but unable to snag a podium.
Race 2 would be mercifully dry, and see Kyle back at the front of the pack, with Ryan just a few
places behind. The former would start P3, keeping the place at Turn 1, dropping back to P4 on
the opening lap, but snatching it back from Lee Jackson on Lap 2. The next few laps would see
Kyle, Haslam & Jackson battle for position, before Ryan passed on Lap 8 to secure P4. Kyle
would take the place back on Lap 11, before passing Haslam and taking the lead following the
coming together of the Ducatis of Irwin & Bridewell on Lap 13. Just a few laps later, the race
would be red flagged, declaring Kyle the winner.
Ryan would yet again start as only he can from P7, making up 2 places for P5 by the time the
pack crossed the line for the first time. He would grab P4 from Jackson through Melbourne on
Lap 6. He would find himself P2 over the next couple of laps, before dropping to P4 after the
crash between Irwin & Bridewell, conceding P5 back to Jackson on L13, crossing the line P6 at
Race 3 would be less positive for both riders, despite Kyle making a rocket start from P5 to P2
at Turn 1, narrowly missing the holeshot. By the close of the lap he would be passed by
Bridewell for P4, before making ground back up to follow Ryan into P3. Over the next few laps
he would lose ground to Haslam, Bridewell again & Brookes, eventually finding himself P13 on
Lap 5, before crossing the line P12 at the close.
Ryan would again make a fantastic start from P6, rocketing into the Top 3 by Turn 1, before
taking P2 into Lap 2. Unfortunately this meteoric charge wouldn;t last, as a crash shortly after
would end his race prematurely.
LAMI OMG Racing head into the Season Finale at Brands Hatch P2 in the Teams’ Standings,
with results from the weekend seeing the gap slashed to just 30.25 points. Kyle Ryde remains
P3 in the Riders’ Standings, now 27.5 points off his first Bennetts British Superbike
Championship victory. With 105 points available across the weekend, will we see an OMG rider
crowned victor for the second year running?