Oulton BSB: Ray win after four-year drought
Phil Wain |
Image: Impact Images
Bradley Ray claimed his third career win at BSB at Oulton Park on Sunday afternoon when he won the weekend’s opening Bennetts British Superbike Championship race ahead of Rory Skinner (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) and his Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha teammate Kyle Ryde.
Ray was 2.7 seconds ahead when the race was red flagged on lap 12 of 14 after Dave Johnson crashed at Knickerbrook and with the results declared Ray took his first series win since Donington Park in 2018. And with Silverstone hero Glenn Irwin down to 11th, he closed the gap at the start of the Championship standings to 18 points.
Ryde took the holeshot from Skinner and Josh Brookes (MCE Ducati) although Ray pushed the latter back to fourth at Shell Oils Corner and it was Skinner who led the line at the end of the first lap after diving at the interior of Ryde at Lodge .
The Yamaha man immediately fought back at Old Hall to regain the lead but it was his team mate Ray who was soon in front and he had widened a gap of more than half a second on Skinner thanks to a new lap record in 1’33.865.
Further back, Brookes continued to race in fourth with the BMW pair of Hickman and Buchan in fifth and sixth while Glenn Irwin dropped back to tenth after being overhauled by Christian Iddon (Buildbase Suzuki).
On lap five, Ray’s lead was 1.4 seconds, Skinner and Ryde racing side by side in second and third, Brookes and Hickman doing the same in fourth and fifth. Buchan was three-quarters of a second behind in sixth with Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) now seventh. Glenn Irwin was back to 12th with Leon Haslam (VisionTrack Kawasaki) 13th and Tom Sykes on the second MCE Ducati in 15th.
At the front of the pack, Ray continued to slip away and his advantage was over two seconds at the halfway point with Skinner half a second clear of Ryde in the remaining podium positions, but Brookes and Hickman moved up the ladder. pair. Meanwhile, Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Ducati) was now ninth from his starting position of 16th.
He continued to progress and, the fastest man on the track, took sixth place at the start of lap ten, although it looked as high as it could have been with a gap of around 2, 7 seconds with Hickman.
Ray was comfortable up front but the battle for second place continued to rage between Skinner, Ryde, Brookes and Hickman and with two laps Bridewell had caught them and well placed to bid for the podium in the closing stages.
However, the red flag came out on lap 12 after Johnson crashed and the result was declared at the end of lap 11 with Ray taking the win over Skinner and Ryde.
Brookes, Hickman and Bridewell finished fourth through sixth with Iddon, O’Halloran, Jackson and Buchan rounding out the top ten. Glenn Irwin finished 11th with Haslam and Sykes 13th and 15th respectively.
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