After more than 100 races in the British Superbike Championship, Ryan Vickers was finally able to celebrate his maiden podium appearance at the weekend with second place coming in Sunday’s opening race at Donington Park.
After four previous seasons in the series, the Thetford rider joined reigning champions OMG Racing over the winter months, a dream move that soon turned sour when he broke his scaphoid at the beginning of the season.
An operation to pin the offending bone led to him missing round two at Oulton Park but he returned to the fray at Donington and had his best weekend in the series with second in race two sandwiched by strong finishes of seventh and fourth.
“It’s the best day of my life,” he proclaimed after finishing 0.347s behind fellow Yamaha rider Jason O’Halloran on Sunday. “ You sometimes think things are never going to happen and the podium’s been a long time coming but people have stuck by me and I’ve never given up despite the injuries and knock backs.”
Indeed, Vickers has had his fair share of crashes and injuries over the years but whilst only time will tell, the weekend may prove to be a significant turning point for the 2018 Juniorstock Champion.
“Sunday’s first race was an amazing race to be part of and although I dropped back a bit in the early stages, I stayed calm and didn’t panic. The race came back to me as it wore on with the safety car putting me right back in contention. The tyres felt a bit different after the safety car went in, but I used my head as there was a bit of a gap behind me. I had Jason in my sights and was able to ride the bike properly and on my lines so if Jason made a mistake, I was there to capitalise.”
“He didn’t but I’m still over the moon with second as it’s been a tough year. I finished on the podium here a few years ago only to lose it to a penalty so to finally do it is a dream come true. I’ve never lost belief in myself and have kept chipping away so we’re there or thereabouts now and have something good to build on.”
He immediately did that too with a strong ride into fourth in the final race of the weekend, only missing out on another podium by 0.102s, Glenn Irwin holding him off on the run to the line. The results elevated Vickers up to joint eighth in the championship table.
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