Oulton BSB: Ray grabs series lead with wins and lap records

| | British Superbikes
Picture: Impact Images

Bradley Ray soared to the top of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park after doubling his career tally of series wins.

The Rich OMG Yamaha rider brought the form he’d shown at the opening round at Silverstone over Easter to the undulating Cheshire venue and with two wins, a third and a new lap record, he came away with a six-point lead over Glenn Irwin.

Ray signalled his intentions during practice when he dipped below the lap record and although the damp weather in qualifying kept him down in seventh, he made no mistakes in the opening race.

Having taken the lead from Rory Skinner on lap two, he never looked back and, aided by a new, official lap record, he took the chequered flag almost three seconds ahead of Skinner to take his first BSB victory since Donington Park in April 2018.

“It felt really nice to get my first win for the team on Sunday as the boys have been grafting so hard through the winter with the Yamaha R1,” he said.

“I knew I had pretty good pace and knew if I could get a good start and try and get in front, I’d have the opportunity to pull a gap and see where that left me.”

Monday’s opener followed a similar pattern only this time he led from start to finish. Another new lap record, 1’33.620s, helped him surge clear with only Lee Jackson able to get near his stunning pace.

It looked like he’d take all three wins as he took off at the head of the field once more in the final race of the weekend and it was only a combination of fatigue and tyre wear that prevented a clean sweep.

“It’s a shame we couldn’t quite do the treble, but the pace was super-hot all weekend and a bit of fatigue crept in at the end while I’d also burnt quite a bit of the tyre at the beginning of the race.

“It’s been a fantastic weekend and the team put a brilliant bike underneath me. The Yamaha R1 worked so well around Oulton and with three podiums and the lap record, I’m very happy with what we achieved this weekend.”