Cadwell BSB: Ray rules in FP1

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Picture: Impact Images

Rich Energy OMG Yamaha’s Brad Ray was in charge of the Bennetts British Superbike standings from the outset of Saturday’s opening practice at Cadwell Park.

Maintaining his front running momentum from a successful Thruxton, Ray set the pace with a 1’26.462 on only his fifth lap of the morning at the Lincolnshire circuit and was unchallenged as the 40-minute FP1 drew to a close.

A raft of local talent headed out for Saturday’s first free practice but it was Northern Irishman Glenn Irwin who had headed the times with a 1’26.130 in Friday evening’s test session, albeit on the Louth-prepared Honda.

As Saturday’s action ignited, Ray took charge with a 1’26.4 from the second Honda of Takumi Takahasi with BMW’s Danny Buchan heading VisionTrack Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam in the top four.

Championship leader Jason O’Halloran got off to a tentative start at his adoptive home track from 16th in the standing, two behind teammate Tarran Mackenzie with the pair of McAMS R1’s circulating in the mid 1’27’s as the first runs completed.

FHO’s Peter Hickman claimed fourth at the session’s halfway stage before Haslam struck back for position. Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki’s Lee Jackson and Rory Skinner sitting sixth and seventh until O’Halloran split the pair with a 1’26.9. The Australian slipping off at the chicane with 15 minutes to go but able to immediately rejoining the acton.

Oxford Products Ducati’s Tommy Bridewell joined the front runners with a P6 effort on his eighth of the morning with Irwin locking out the top ten as the final ten minutes approached. OMG’s Kyle Ryde and Buildbase Suzuki’s Christian Iddon sat 11th and 12th from the younger Irwin on the Synetiq BMW while MCE Ducati’s Josh Brookes and the reigning champion completed the top 15.

The penultimate minute found improvement for FHO’s Ryan Vickers as the BMW rider claimed 12th. Storm Stacey knocking Mackenzie down the order further as the Kawasaki advanced to 16th next time around. Vickers continuing his climb as the chequered flag prepared with a top ten time of 1’27.0 while the reigning champion returned to 15th on his final shot at the expense of his predecessor Brookes.

With limited changes to the times, Ray maintained his early advantage with Takahasi and Buchan completing the top three from O’Halloran, Haslam and Hickman.

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