Ray takes maiden Superbike victory in season opener

Photo: Dainese - Twitter

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.

Bennetts British Superbike race one, Donington Park

1Bradley RayBuildbase Suzuki27:12.977
2Shane ByrneBe Wiser Ducati+0.383
3James EllisonAnvil Hire TAG Yamaha+0.721
4Dan LinfootHonda Racing+3.174
5Luke MosseyJG Speedfit Kawasaki+4.430
6Glenn IrwinBe Wiser Ducati+4.671
7Jason O'HalloranHonda Racing+6.191
8Peter HickmanSmiths Racing BMW +8.822
9Leon HaslamJG Speedfit Kawasaki+13.792
10Michael LavertyTyco BMW Motorrad+14.224
11Jake DixonRAF Regular&Reserves+14.350
12Josh BrookesMcAMS Yamaha+17.143
13Danny BuchanFS-3 Racing Kawasaki+21.039
14Christian IddonTyco BMW Motorrad+24.931
15Taylor MackenzieMoto Rapido Ducati+30.296
16Richard CooperBuildbase Suzuki+31.246
17Gino ReaOMG Racing +39.847
18Tarran MackenzieMcAMS Yamaha+42.094
19Sylvain BarrierSmiths Racing BMW+46.262
20Mason LawTeam WD-40+46.596
21Dean HarrisonSilicone Engineering Racing+51.820
22David JohnsonGulf BMW+1:04.789
23Martin JessoppRidersmotorcycles.com BMW+1:20.031
24Carl PhillipsGearlink Kawasaki+1:22.154
25Connor CumminsPadgetts Racing+1:26.861
26Shaun WinfieldAnvil Hire TAG Yamaha+1:29.871
27William DunlopTemple Yamaha+1:30.033
DNFKyle RydeCF Motorsport Yamaha2 laps
DNFTommy BridewellMovuno.com Halsall Racing2 laps