Cadwell BSB: Ray lauds ‘perfect day’ with pole-to-flag win

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Picture: Impact Images

OMG Yamaha’s Bradley Ray gave his rivals a timely reminder that he remains a major threat for the 2022 British Superbike Championship title with an impeccable lights-to-flag victory in the opening race of the weekend at Cadwell Park.

In a season that has seen the Kent rider re-establish himself as one of BSB’s front runners on the Rich Energy R1, Ray enjoyed arguably his strongest day of the year after backing up his outstanding record-breaking Superpole performance with a comfortable fourth win of the year.

With his only blemish coming in the aborted first start when he was overtaken for the lead by Rory Skinner shortly before it was red flagged, Ray made no mistake at the second attempt by getting the holeshot before keeping his Scottish rival at arm’s length throughout the 12-lap sprint.

While Ray has already booked himself a spot in the Showdown - the first time he will have appeared in the championship shootout since 2018 - the success comes after a run of events where he has been pipped to several wins by factory counterparts Jason O’Halloran and Tarran Mackenzie on the McAMS Yamaha.

Shortening the gap to O’Halloran at the head of the standings to 12 points, it also reduces the podium credit gap to just eight.

“It has been a perfect day,” Ray said from the Lincolnshire paddock on Sunday. “I got pole and set the fastest ever lap around Cadwell and I knew in the race I just had to get to the front and use the Yamaha’s characteristics, use the fast and flowing lines.

“I knew Rory would try and make a pass so I just tried to put the hammer down. I had to go like stink at the start and I managed to get the gap up to 0.7s and then just manage the gap for the rest of the race.

“I just tried to hit my markers and not make any mistakes, but apart from a few slides on the final lap as the tyre was dropping off, but overall very happy.”

Despite his win, Ray will get underway from fourth position on the grid for Race 2.