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Oulton BSB: Ray wins after four year drought

Bradley Ray claimed his third career BSB victory at Oulton Park on Sunday afternoon when he took the opening Bennetts British Superbike Championship race of the weekend ahead of Rory Skinner (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) and Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha team-mate Kyle Ryde.

Ray was 2.7s clear when the race was red flagged on the 12th of 14 laps after Dave Johnson crashed at Knickerbrook and with the results declared, Ray took his first win in the series since Donington Park in 2018. And with Silverstone hero Glenn Irwin down in 11th, he cut the gap in the early championship standings to 18 points.

Ryde took the holeshot from Skinner and Josh Brookes (MCE Ducati) although Ray pushed the latter back to fourth at Shell Oils Corner and it was Skinner who led over the line at the end of the first lap after diving up the inside of Ryde at Lodge.


The Yamaha man immediately hit back at Old Hall to regain the lead but it was teammate Ray who was soon in front and he’d opened up a gap of more than half a second over Skinner thanks to a new lap record of 1’33.865.

Further back, Brookes continued to run in fourth with BMW pairing of Hickman and Buchan in fifth and sixth whilst Glenn Irwin slipped back to tenth after being overhauled by Christian Iddon (Buildbase Suzuki).

By lap five, Ray’s lead was up to 1.4s with Skinner and Ryde running close together in second and third with Brookes and Hickman doing similar in fourth and fifth. Buchan was three quarters of a second further back in sixth with Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) now in seventh. Glenn Irwin had slipped back to 12th with Leon Haslam (VisionTrack Kawasaki) 13th and Tom Sykes on the second MCE Ducati in 15th.

At the head of the field Ray was continuing to pull away and his advantage was over two seconds at half race distance with Skinner half a second clear of Ryde in the remaining podium positions but both Brookes and Hickman were reeling the pair in. Meanwhile, Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Ducati) was now up to ninth from his 16th place start position.

He continued to make moves forward and, the fastest man on track, took over sixth at the start of lap ten although that looked to be as high as he’d get with the gap to Hickman some 2.7s.

Ray was comfortable in front but the battle for second continued to rage between Skinner, Ryde, Brookes and Hickman and with two laps, Bridewell had caught them and well placed to make a bid for the podium in the closing stages.

However, the red flag came out on lap 12 after Johnson’s crash and the result declared at the end of lap 11 with Ray taking the win from Skinner and Ryde.

Brookes, Hickman and Bridewell took fourth to sixth with Iddon, O’Halloran, Jackson and Buchan completing the top ten. Glenn Irwin finished 11th with Haslam and Sykes taking 13th and 15th respectively.

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