Snetterton BSB: Ray makes it a double win

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Picture: Impact Images

Bradley Ray made it two Bennetts British Superbike Championship wins from two at Snetterton on Sunday afternoon with a narrow victory over Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha), overhauling the Scot on the final lap.

Second place secured Mackenzie’s place in the Showdown and it was a similar story for third placed Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Ducati) and Ray’s team-mate Kyle Ryde, who finished sixth with all eight Showdown places now secured.

Ray, on the Rich OMG Yamaha, grabbed the holeshot from pole position and it was immediately a Yamaha 1-2-3-4 with Mackenzie, Jason O’Halloran and Ryde tucking in behind but Andrew Irwin (Synetiq BMW) overhauled Ryde before the end of the lap with Bridewell quickly following him.

Ray led by almost a second at the end of the lap, but Mackenzie set about closing that second time around as O’Halloran slipped back into the clutches of Irwin. However, the latter then made a mistake at Wilson’s and, after tagging the rear wheel of O’Halloran crashed out, the Australian dropping back to fifth as a result.

Ray’s lead was down to half a second as they started lap four, Mackenzie setting a new lap record of 1’47.079s, with the running order behind now Bridewell, Ryde, O’Halloran and Tom Sykes (MCE Ducati). Leon Haslam (VisionTrack Kawasaki) then ran on at Agostini’s dropping from tenth to 18th whilst Rory Skinner (Cheshire Moud#ldings FS-3 Kawasaki) and Danny Buchan (Synetiq BMW), who’d started at the back of the grid, were now in 13th and 14th respectively.

Lap five saw Christian Iddon retire his Buildbase Suzuki but there was a change for the lead on lap six when Mackenzie nosed ahead for the first time after Ray ran wide and the Yamaha duo were now almost three seconds clear of third placed Bridewell. He, in turn, had a two-second advantage over Ryde and O’Halloran who, like their respective team-mates were locked in battle.

Mackenzie opened up a small gap over Ray, half a second as they started lap eight, and Bridewell was slowly, but surely, closing in on them, the Ducati man lapping half a second quicker than Ray on lap seven. Ryde was continuing to keep O’Halloran at bay, and it was now Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) in sixth from Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing), Sykes and Lee Jackson on the second FS-3 machine, Buchan rounding out the top ten.

The leading two Yamaha riders responded to Bridewell’s charge and by lap ten, the latter was 2.2s adrift of Ray who was maintaining the half second gap to leader Mackenzie. Ryde remained in fourth, but Hickman was now in fifth as O’Halloran slipped back further and, indeed, lap ten saw Glenn Irwin push the Australian back to seventh.

The Honda man wasn’t done there either and on lap 12 moved up to fourth, Hickman also getting ahead of Ryde to relegate the Yamaha rider to sixth.

As the race entered its closing stages, it was a straight fight between Mackenzie and Ray but although the reigning champion looked like he had it sewn up, Ray had other ideas and dived up the inside at the end of the back straight to take his sixth win of the season.

Bridewell saw off a late charge from Irwin with Hickman and Ryde taking fifth and sixth as Buchan, Jackson, a fading O’Halloran and Sykes completed the top ten.