This weekend saw the Season Finale of the 2023 Bennetts British Superbike Championship at
the traditional Brands Hatch, and whilst the results may not have been quite enough to secure a
second successive championship title for the LAMI OMG Racing team, a triple podium for Kyle
Ryde saw him end the year on a high.
He would head into the weekend third in the Riders’ Standings, just 27.5 points off the
championship leader.. With a total of 105 points available across the three races, it would be
tight, but his first championship victory was firmly within his grasp.
Friday’s two Free Practice sessions would give both Kyle & teammate Ryan Vickers a taste of
both a soaking wet & dry circuit, and with Ryan having won his first BSB race earlier in the year
on a wet Brands Hatch, all eyes were on him as the boys headed out for their first practice. As
always, it was imperative that both secured times within the Top 12, guaranteeing them a place
in Saturday’s second qualifying session, giving them the best chance possible for multiple wins.
We needn’t have worried, as across the two sessions both secured the places needed for Quali
2 the next day. Kyle would go great guns, banking a 1:25.797, the only rider to break the 1:26
barrier during the day, with a gap of more than 0.3 ahead of the BMW of Hickman, with Ryan
snatching P11 on his 18th lap.
Saturday’s final Free Practice session would see the track relatively dry, but the cold air would
ensure the surface was still quite greasy. At the close of the short session, Kyle would yet again
be on top, 0.693 ahead of his nearest rival. Ryan would utilize the session to experiment with
setup, crossing the line P14 with some knowledge under his belt.
Quali 2 would see a wet circuit, though times would tumble towards the end of the session.
From the off Kyle would rocket straight to P1, dropping to P3 with 6 minutes to go, with the next
lap seeing him tumble to P13. With 5 minutes to go a massive moment on a flying lap would
slow him down, though he’d quickly find himself P4. With the rain falling, his penultimate lap
would see him back in P3, before crossing the line P6, just ahead of rival Bridewell’s Ducati.
Ryan would fare similarly, sitting P5 with 6 minutes to run, before rocketing to P2 with 3 minutes
left. Hopes were high for a front row start, but the 24-year-old would eventually bag P8 for the
The Bennetts Sprint Race would be mercifully dry, and give the boys just 12 laps in which to bag
as many points as possible. Kyle would make a great start from P6, moving up a spot to P5 on
the first lap, heading into Lap 2 P4 behind Bridewell. On the same lap he would pass Bridewell
& Haslam to grab P2 behind the sister Yamaha R1 of O’Halloran, passing him on Lap 3 and
securing Fastest Lap at the same time. He would hold the spot, posting Fastest Laps on Laps 7,
8 & 10, battling The O’Show during the closing laps but ultimately holding top spot to take the
win, his 6th of the year.
Ryan would be unable to capitalise on his pace having become stuck in the mid-pack, hovering
around P12 for the majority of the session, before rounding out the Top 10 at the close.
Sunday would see the legion of fans attending rewarded with glorious autumnal sunshine, a
rare treat for the UK in October. Kyle would start the 20 lap race P3, with Ryan P11.
The former would, as we’ve come to expect from both the LAMI OMG racers this season, make
a demon start, finding himself directly behind the Ducati of Irwin for P2 by Turn 3, pushing the
Irishman for the lead into Paddock Hill on Lap 2. By Lap 4 the sister R1 of The O’Show would
make an appearance, passing Kyle on Lap 5 at Paddock, before the LAMI OMG racer took back
the place at Turn 2. By Turn 4 he would find himself P3, battling Bridewell on Lap 7 but holding
firm. Lap 12 would see him dicing with Irwin again for the lead, but defending from the wiley
Bridewell at Surtees would cost him time. The Ducati would finally make it through the defenses
on Lap 15 at Paddock, before an epic battle commenced for P3. Lap 16 would see the
Championship hopeful run wide at Turn 2, but hold his position, crossing the line P3 to secure
Ryan would similarly make a strong start from P11, battling up to P8 by the middle of the
opening lap. By Lap 3 he’d be up to P7,and by Lap 13 he’d be P4, behind teammate Ryde, after
posting the second fastest lap of the session at that point on Lap 12 by just 0.017 of a second,
eventually taking the flag P4.
With tension mounting, and north of 50,000 fans trackside to watch the 2023 Bennetts British
Superbike Champion crowned, the Final Race promised to be nothing short of breathtaking.
And it didn’t disappoint, with fans naming it one of the most exciting races of modern memory.
With Kyle still very much in contention to win the title, and the Ducatis of Bridewell & Irwin in
closer competition than ever, the gloves were very much off.
Again, both riders would make excellent starts, with Ryan securing the Holeshot from P2, before
having the place snatched mid lap by Bridewell. Lap 4 would see him P3, defending the place
spectacularly from Irwin, before the title contending Irishman charged through on Lap 6. Ryan
would take the place back on Lap 7, before going P4 to Bridewell on Lap 9, holding the position
until the close.
Kyle would secure P3 on Haslam mid-way through the opening lap, passing Vickers at Paddock
on Lap 2 for P2, snatching the lead on the same lap, a position he’d hold until being pipped by
Irwin on Lap 11. Lap 13 would see Bridewell take his spot, though he’d remain on his coat tails
until Lap 17, whereby he’d retake the lead. What would follow can only only be described as a
dance between the 3 riders, swapping places multiple times during the last few laps, before
crossing the line P3 for this third podium of the weekend, and his 13th of the year.
Kyle would finish the Championship P3, just 33 points off the top spot, with teammate Ryan P8,
having missed an entire round and a few races due to injury earlier in the season. LAMI OMG
Racing would finish P2 in the Ceratizit Teams’ Trophy, rounding out their sixth year in the UK’s
premier motorcycle racing championship.