Although he wasn’t able to add to the wins he scored at round two, Bradley Ray’s highly impressive start to this year’s British Superbike season continued at Donington Park with the Rich Energy OMG rider taking three podiums in the three races to extend his lead to 28 points.
Two seconds and a third also, and perhaps more importantly, saw him increase his tally of podium credits to 22. Having finished third in race one, behind teammate Kyle Ryde and Jason O’Halloran, he made all of the running in both of Sunday’s races before the latter overhauled him and he’ll be well aware of the threat the Australian now poses.
“I was a little bit disappointed with third on Saturday as I felt we had the pace for the win,” he said. “It wasn’t to be but it was another good top three finish and I was really happy for Kyle. He deserved that, and to do it in front of his home fans is pretty special.”
The Kent rider set a ferocious pace in each of Sunday’s longer races but once O’Halloran hit the front he looked, and proved, to be the stronger rider, something that Ray recognised.
“I had a great package but there’s a few areas where I can improve, both with the bike and myself. I wanted to lead at the beginning of race two to try and get a gap over the rest of the field for later on in the race.
“Jason had that bit more than me in the last four to five laps and it was the same in the final race of the weekend. The safety car stopped my flow a bit and although I got a gap in the re-start, Jason caught me and I didn’t have enough at the end.”
Nevertheless, with previous closest rival Glenn Irwin dropping away, the three podiums still enabled him to increase his advantage from six points to 28. It also meant he’s finished in the top three in eight of the nine races to take place so far, only a crash in the second race at Silverstone blotting his copybook.
That consistency could well see him reap the rewards at the end of the season although he was quick to point out his title lead isn’t something he’s focusing on at present.
“I couldn’t have hoped for more at the beginning of the season, but the championship lead is a bit irrelevant at the moment. It’s all about getting wins and podiums and building up the credits.”