OMG Yamaha’s Kyle Ryde was back on top of Bennetts British Superbike testing over the weekend as the paddock returned to the UK at Donington Park.
Saving his fastest lap for the last session of the test, despite the cool conditions, Ryde locked out the top spot with a 1’28.804 effort to extend his preseason reign, having already set the benchmark at the opening Official Test at Circuito de Navarra in Spain earlier this month.
The LAMI OMG Yamaha rider completed a sequence of laps at the end of the day to fire him ahead of FHO BMW’s Josh Brookes The number 77’s best was just 0.207s off the existing race lap record set by former teammate and 2022 Champion Bradley Ray.
Brookes proved he was getting to grips with the FHO Racing BMW M 1000 RR as the double champion held second, dipping into the 1’29s lap times to move ahead of fellow BMW rider Danny Buchan on the SYNETIQ machine. Buchan had set the pace in the afternoon but decided against venturing out in the final session.
MasterMac by Hawk Racing Honda’s Charlie Nesbitt was fourth fastest with his best lap of the day also set in the final session just ahead of second OMG rider Ryan Vickers who completed the top five. Honda’s Andrew Irwin finished the day sixth, just ahead of Josh Owens on the Crendon by Hawk Fireblade and the second FHO BMW of Peter Hickman while Christian Iddon and Jason O’Halloran completed the top ten thanks to their early afternoon efforts. The pair also opting to sit out the final session ahead of the switch to Silverstone for the final two days of testing from Tuesday.
“It’s nice to be back at Donington Park as it’s my favourite track,” Ryde said on Sunday evening. “Yesterday we didn’t even get to do a lap, but today we were banking on the last session being dry.
“I wouldn’t call it perfect, it was cold, but the track was bone dry the whole way around. It was a good time to understand the new surface of the track, which is really good. I think the whole job everyone has done is very impressive.
“I am just in a wave at the minute after a good test in Spain.
“I wanted to try the bike at Donington Park with the same settings as what we had in Navarra, so it was literally the same gearing and same suspension. We didn’t touch anything we just rolled out it out of the truck! So it was great to get about 20, 25 laps under my belt. It was surprisingly fast too!
“We’ve got two days next to test at Silverstone and then the first race there and I am looking forward to it,” he continued looking ahead to this week’s action. “If it rains, we are all going to be going out because we are racing there is just another week, so it’s good to get an understanding and a good set up.
“Silverstone is just a 50 second track so you can do plenty of laps in testing and we’ll get in the best shape possible for the first round at Easter.”
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, R&G Official Test, Donington Park, combined result:
Kyle Ryde (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) 1’28.804
Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW) +0.721s
Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) +1.716s
Charlie Nesbitt (MasterMac by Hawk Racing Honda) +1.920s
Ryan Vickers (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) +2.806s
Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing UK) +2.833s
Josh Owens (Crendon by Hawk Racing Honda) +3.303s
Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) +3.564s
Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +3.637s
Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +4.162s