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Donington BSB: Ryde overhauls O'Halloran for race one win

Kyle Ryde won the opening Bennetts British Superbike Championship race of the weekend at Donington Park on Saturday afternoon, the RICH Energy OMG Yamaha rider just getting the better of McAMS counterpart Jason O’Halloran after a thrilling final lap.

Ryde’s teammate Bradley Ray got the jump off the line but Rory Skinner (FS-3 Kawasaki) rode around the outside of everyone at Redgate to take the lead and crossed the line ahead of O’Halloran, Ray, Ryde, Lee Jackson on the second FS-3 and MCE Ducati’s Tom Sykes.
Second time around and O’Halloran hit the front and there was further change on lap three with Ray pushing Skinner back to third. His Kawasaki teammate Jackson was right in his wheel tracks with Ryde now fifth and Honda’s Glenn Irwin up to sixth ahead of Sykes. Ryan Vickers was out though having crashed the FHO BMW at the chicane.
At the beginning of lap six, Ray nipped up the inside of O’Halloran at Redgate to take the lead and Ryde did similar to the two Kawasakis going from fifth to third in one fell swoop. Irwin and Peter Hickman (FHO BMW) were going with them with 1.5s covering the top seven.
Ryde moved by O’Halloran on lap seven to make it a RICH Energy one-two but Leon Haslam was out, pulling in to retire on the VisionTrack Kawasaki. A lap later and it was Ryde’s turn to lead, getting the better of Ray going into the chicane.
Jackson was also on the move and got past O’Halloran on lap nine with the two going side by side all the way through the Craner Curves and into the Old Hairpin. Jackson ran wide on the exit and it not only let O’Halloran past but also Irwin.
All the battling meant Ryde and Ray were now almost 1.5s clear although the fastest lap of the race, 1’05.933s, by O’Halloran showed how hard he was trying to reel them in. Jackson, Irwin and Skinner had dropped back from the Yamaha man by more than a second.
By lap 13, O’Halloran had the gap to leader Ryde down to a second but Ryde was continuing to hold sway and with five laps to go, he led Ray by half a second with O’Halloran a further half second back in third. Jackson was continuing to occupy fourth with Irwin, Skinner, Christian Iddon (Buildbase Suzuki), Hickman and Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Ducati) following in close formation.
With three laps to go, the gap between the leading trio was down to half a second and O’Halloran got ahead of Ray at Redgate to take over second. The Australian was soon with Ryde and got ahead at both the Old Hairpin and the chicane on the final lap.
However, on each occasion Ryde immediately cut back to regain the lead and he crossed the line first to win by 0.038s. Ray was a second further back in third with Jackson fourth and Irwin just getting the better of Iddon for fifth.
Skinner, Bridewell, Hickman and Tarran Mackenzie completed the top ten, the reigning champion getting his first points on the board for 2022. Sykes slipped back to 11th with teammate Josh Brookes two places further back in 13th.

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