Bradley Ray extended his lead in this year’s British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park at the weekend with his eighth win of the season helping him go into the penultimate round at Donington Park in five days’ time with a 40-point advantage.
That was a gain of 27 points from when the Rich OMG Yamaha rider arrived at Oulton but after obliterating the lap record in practice, posting the first ever sub 1’33 lap around the 2.69-mile venue, many thought he would walk away with all three race victories.
He comfortably achieved the race win in Saturday’s opener but a drop in tyre performance in both of Sunday’s races meant his points lead wasn’t as big as it could have been although crashes for a number of his Showdown rivals, including the McAMS duo of Jason O’Halloran and Tarran Mackenzie who were closest to him in the title standings prior to Oulton, still puts him in a strong position with six races to go despite Tommy Bridewell’s third race win when Ray could only manage fifth.
“Overall, it’s been a positive weekend as I came here with a 13-point lead and leave with a 40-point lead,” he said on Sunday evening. “It wasn’t ideal losing so many points to Tommy in Sunday’s races though, especially the second one when he won and I dropped back to fifth.”
“It was a bit of a shame with the two restarts in Sunday’s first race as I definitely felt we had the win in the bag and in the third start, well, god knows what happened with the tyre as I had nothing to give for the win.”
“That was a bit of a shame but, like I say, overall it’s been positive and we can take the positives away from here ahead of Donington. We’re back safe and best wishes to Taz, Jason and the other riders injured this weekend.”
Ray leads the championship on 1113 points, 40 ahead of Bridewell with Lee Jackson a further eight behind.