Welcome to the beta version of the new Women & Golf website. Our web monkeys are still hard at work and welcome your feedback.  


Big breakthrough as Bradley Ray cracks top six, proves WorldSBK calibre

Gold & Goose
Bradley Ray, Motoxracing, Yamaha R1, 2023 WorldSBK, Imola, action, group, pack, start [credit - Gold & Goose]

Bradley Ray went a long way to proving he can mix it with the best in the WorldSBK Championship on a breakthrough weekend at Imola that yielded a superb top six finish.

The Briton, competing in only his fifth WorldSBK event of the year as part of his European campaign with the Motoxracing Yamaha team, earned his fair share of the spotlight on his first visit to the Italian venue this weekend.

Quick from first practice, Ray was a consistent top ten figure over a single lap throughout, culminating in him taking a shock spot on the second row in qualifying. A vast improvement on his previous best Superpole effort of 15th, he’d start the first two races of the weekend in sixth.


Somewhat ironically though, the lofty starting position didn’t directly lead to strong finishes in the two races it applied to, with Ray admitting he may have flattered to deceive somewhat in qualifying after being bullied back to 15th, before technical issues in the Superpole Race left him outside of the top nine.

It meant he’d be demoted back to tenth on the grid for Race 2, but on this occasion Ray was able to get stuck into the mix, crucially clinging onto the back of the faster lead group in eighth as it gapped those behind.

>>> 2023 WorldSBK Championship Standings <<<

Finding his rhythm, Ray - whose best result coming into the weekend race was a 12th -  began to pressure Scott Redding ahead, getting the move done late on for seventh, which became sixth when Alex Lowes crashed out ahead too.

A big boost for Ray on a weekend that saw GYTR GRT Yamaha pairing Dominique Aegerter and Remy Gardner struggle, he was delighted to emerge as one of the weekend’s star performers.

“Unbelievable. It’s my first time here at Imola but I’ve been really strong all weekend. The racing has been the difficult part for me, I haven’t been qualifying very well so it’s been difficult to try and make steps forward.

“I probably out-qualified my race pace, which is why I dropped back and I had a few issues that prevented me from going forward and then in the Superpole Race we had a problem with the gearshift. 

“I got a really good start in Race 2, I had to dig in on the first laps to make the time up and stay with the group, I did the best I could.  Just set about my rhythm I knew I could do, so it was just a case of ticking the laps off keeping my focus.


“It’s tough to make that step into the top ten, so it was important to qualify sixth. I learned a hell of a lot in that first opening lap and throughout the weekend, so hopefully we can carry on moving forward.”

His performance comes on the back of a disappointing weekend at Donington Park, his knowledge of which is in stark contrast to that of Imola. 

However, Ray reckons Imola, with its undulating and requires an attacking style bears the hallmarks of UK venues that often require greater ‘commitment’

“It’s not an easy track, but it’s a bit more like a UK style track with its ups and downs, blind corners… you need to give it a lot of commitment. 

“I’m over the moon to finish sixth and get a new best result for myself and the team.”

Articles you may like


More WorldSBK

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram