2022 British Superbikes Oulton Park – Race 1 Results
Bradley Ray was untroubled after losing the lead from pole and quickly reclaimed the lead to dominate the sprint race at Oulton Park, Round 9 of the Championship.
The Rich Energy OMG rider lost to a near perfect launch from Jason O’Halloran from third on the grid. Tommy Bridewell wanted to be part of the leading action and passed the Australian at Shell Oils on the opening lap.
Ray stayed calmly in contention and fired inside the duo at the end of the last lap.
Proving that’s not how you start but how you finish, the #28 held on to the lead for the rest of the race, closing a considerable 2.765 second gap on the line – as none of its rivals closest in the Showdown standings did finish the race.
Although not as quick as the morning when Ray set a new lap record in qualifying, he didn’t need to be, with his rivals battling for second place allowing him to pull away in cooler conditions and covered.
Tommy Bridewell did his best to try to keep the gap to a minimum, but was never going to catch Ray, leaving the Oxford Products Ducati rider to take second place behind the Yamaha.
Wanting a piece of the podium leaves McAMS bikes in the gravel.
Bridewell had enough work to avoid the battle for podium points, which saw both McAMS riders end their day in the gravel.
Reigning champion Tarran Mackenzie’s exit was all his job, trying to make up the points deficit requires podiums and after shoving his way to the front of the group chasing the leaders he tried to make some too much in one motion, looking shaken after his quick fall from fifth.
Jason O’Halloran had done everything he could to score as many points as possible as Ray pulled away in front. Chasing second place, the Yamaha man was unprepared for Peter Hickman—who is not in the Showdown—to make a huge lunge for a podium. Making his move too far back led to contact with the Yamaha, which was destroyed as it spun through the gravel.
O’Halloran was unharmed physically, but mentally he was seething and had to be held trackside as he hung around, waiting to give Hickman a piece of his mind on the hot lap.
Leon Haslam was in charge of the chasing pack before Mackenzie came on and that left him well placed to pick up the pieces after slowly doing most of the work to catch up with the bikes ahead.
This is the first visit to the podium for the former champions since the last round at Oulton Park.
Fourth went to Hickman, with his late move on the FHO Racing BMW being reviewed by race direction at the end of the sprint.
Glenn Irwin has lost places since his ninth start on the grid. The Honda rider worked hard to get back to where he started, then advanced for fifth place in the race until the checkered flag.
Danny Buchan was more than a second further down the track in sixth for Synetiq BMW Motorrad, an improvement on his eighth start.
Lee Jackson was another rider going in the wrong direction early in the race, but he too rallied to drive the Cheshire Moldings FS-3 Kawasaki home in seventh.
Christian Iddon gained places over time to move from eleventh to eighth for Buildbase Suzuki.
Rory Skinner (Cheshire Moldings FS-3 Kawasaki) and Kyle Ryde (Rich Energy OMG Yamaha) were the lowest ranked Showdown riders to finish, ninth and tenth respectively.
Josh Brookes was a distant eleventh, still an improvement from his 13th place on the grid with MCE Ducati. The equally experienced Tom Sykes was behind his teammate in twelfth.
Danny Kent started the race in 19th after failing to come out of Q1 and worked hard to climb to 13th by the time he came to the checkered flag.
Tom Neave (Honda Racing) and Dean Harrison (DAO Racing Kawasaki) followed him to complete the points in 14th and 15th respectively.
The McAMS duo aren’t the only ones who didn’t finish.
Storm Stacey’s race was over before it even started after running on the grass from the start of the race. The Crowe Performance BMW driver continued for a few more laps before becoming the first driver to enter the pits.
Ryan Vickers, who missed races in the final round with a concussion, didn’t see his return to racing last much longer. Liam Jeacock was next out, with Andrew Irwin dropping the timing screens like a stone when his bike needed to be retired.
Oulton Park Stats:
1: Bradley Ray 1m 32.945s (new record)
2: Tommy Bridewell
Second round at Oulton Park 2022
Pole: Kyle Ryde
First race: Bradley Ray
Race 2: Bradley Ray
Race 3: Lee Jackson
2021 at Oulton Park
First round :
Post: Tommy Bridewell
First race (sprint): Jason O’Halloran
Race 2: Jason O’Halloran
Race 3: Jason O’Halloran
Round Nine (Confrontation):
Pole: Josh Brookes
First race (sprint): Tarran Mackenzie
Race 2: Tommy Bridewell
Race 3: Tommy Bridewell
Where does that leave the championship?
Unsurprisingly, with Ray winning and his main rivals out of the race, he stretches his total and leads comfortably.
Moving up to 1,086 points, he now holds a 38-point advantage over O’Halloran with Mackenzie even further back by 55 points after just one run.
Tommy Bridewell made gains to sit 58 points adrift of 1028, with Glenn Irwin a point further back in fifth overall.
Their mixed fortunes see Lee Jackson and Kyle Ryde both 67 points behind Ray, with Skinner just a little further to complete the eight entrants, 70 points adrift.