Bradley Ray stormed to a surprise victory in the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike season opener at Donington Park, to share the podium with seasoned BSB racers Shane Byrne and James Ellison. Ray’s victory is his first Superbike win after stepping up to the class last year with the Buildbase Suzuki squad.
The Bank Holiday round had been rescheduled to feature race one on Sunday, due to adverse weather conditions forecast on Monday.
Ray took the lead early on in the eighteen lap race and from there he was untouchable. Reigning champion Byrne and Ellison appeared to be the only riders who could get close, but Ray kept his nerve to cross the line in front. Byrne and Ellison battled to the very last corner, with Byrne coming out on top.
Leon Haslam had an absolute nightmare of a race. Although he qualified on pole position, he dropped backwards throughout the race, coming under fire from the likes of Jason O’Halloran, Dan Linfoot, Glenn Irwin and Luke Mossey. The Derbyshire rider fought hard to keep with them, but ended the race in ninth.
Irwin made a fantastic comeback following a massive crash in free practice yesterday. The Irishman initially reported that he had “broken his neck” in the freak accident, but it later emerged that he had aggravated an old injury from last year’s bout of racing. He put up a great fight, and ended the day in sixth.
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