Ryan Vickers ended his long wait for victory in the British Superbike Championship [BSB] by stepping atop the podium for the first time at Brands Hatch.
Arriving in Kent on a strong run of form to follow on from his first career BSB podiums at Donington Park and Knockhill, Vickers held his nerve in treacherous conditions in a shortened first race of the weekend.
Though only half points were awarded for his efforts, Vickers - who'd go on to finish fifth and third in the remaining two dry races - was thrilled to get his moment in the spotlight.
“It’s been an amazing weekend and I’m so happy,” he smiled after chalking up his fourth podium of the season. “Brands has been my worst circuit in the past and I’ve had some huge crashes, one which left me with a bleed on the brain.”
“It’s been a touch circuit for me so to turn it around with a win and a podium is amazing. The bikes’ really strong and the team have put me in a great position.
“It was the only real place I could pass, and it was a phenomenal race so to come away from the weekend with first, third and fifth is amazing.
"That last race was probably the best of my career as we were on the limit all the way. We had a bit of a speed disadvantage compared to the Ducatis but I put myself in some good positions and made three clean passes at Surtees to stay with them."
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Such has been Vickers’ pace at the last two rounds, he’s scored more than double the points of team-mate Kyle Ryde who currently lies in third overall in the points and although Vickers is currently back in ninth, he’s very much the one in the ascendancy.
"Like I say, I’m so happy and with the next round being at Thruxton, my favourite circuit, I can’t wait to see what we can do there."
Having started the season on the back foot after suffering an injury during pre-season testing, Vickers was full of praise for his LAMI OMG Racing team for bringing the best out in him.
Indeed, while some questioned team owner Alan Gardiner and team boss Paul Curran’s decision to hire Vickers for the 2023 season but it’s proven to be a shrewd move with rider coach and 11-time British Champion Roger Marshall also helping to extract the best out of the 2018 Superstock 600 champion.
“The team environment’s fantastic and what the guys are giving me and what they’re doing for me is fantastic. Everyone’s doing a great job."