Express & Star

Championships hotting up as BSB heads to Silverstone

The British Superbike series is really hotting as the region's top teams and riders continue their push for titles and the BSB Showdown places.


Cannock-based OMG Racing riders Bradley Ray and Kyle Ryde, who returned from injury, were back in action at Snetterton over the weekend.

A fracture of the heel during testing at Cadwell Park had kept double British champion Ryde out of action but he bounced back in time to make round seven in Norfolk.

Both riders were forced to start from the back of the grid for race one but Ray was soon challenging for the top 10, picking an impressive ninth at the flag.

Meanwhile, Ryde had dropped back in the early stages but clawed his position back to end the race 19th.

With Ray starting eighth on the grid for 16-lap race two, it was Ryde, back in 23rd, who got a good launch into the pack and, after finally finding a good feeling with the bike, began to pick off the riders ahead of him.

As the race unfolded the two OMG Racing riders were neck and neck as the chequered flag dropped, with Ray taking 12th and Ryde 15th.

Race three was disrupted after being red-flagged when a mechanical issue caused Danny Buchan to crash, which in turn saw several others slip off in the aftermath, bringing proceedings to a temporary halt.

The restart promoted Ray to seventh and Kyle to 13th for the five-lap dash to the flag – and Ryde put managed to rise to 10th with Ray slipping back to ninth.

Team Principal Paul Curran, from Cannock, said: “It hasn’t been an easy weekend on either side of the garage for different reasons.

"We were delighted that Kyle was passed fit to ride on Friday morning as he’s worked really hard to get as fit as possible since the injury so to see him back gave the team a real lift.

"The results weren’t what we were all hoping for at the start of the weekend. Qualifying didn’t go to plan for Brad, which hampered his progress, unfortunately, but he worked hard to get the best results he could in all three races.

"We have found a direction to go with the bike for him and we’re looking forward to exploring that more next weekend at Silverstone."

The results leave Ray ninth in the championship, just five points of Lee Jackson in the final Showdown place, with Ryde 15th, 60 points off the top eight.

Eccleshall rider Storm Stacey, 18, was back in the BSB points for the fourth round running finishing 13th and then 18th, to sit 19th in the standings.

The National Superstock championship looks to be going to wire with OMG Racing's Billy McConnell, Black Country-based Bathams Racing rider Taylor Mackenzie and Brownhills-based Shane Richardson all going well at Snetterton.

McConnell continued with his impressive form claiming another third, which leaves him second in the table, 24 points off the leader.

A much-needed return to form for Bathams Racing also came at Snetterton following a number of set up changes to the new BMW M1000RR.

And they made an instant impact during the very first practice session on Friday, with Mackenzie on the same pace as the championship frontrunners.

After qualifying seventh, Mackenzie got a good start to get away with the leaders and was one of only three riders to lap the Norfolk circuit in the 1:49 bracket, as he made his way up to second position, which he held on to all the way to the chequered flag.

Team boss Michael Rutter, from Brierley Hill, said: "If we've learned nothing this year, it is that anything can happen.

"There's still seven races to go and we're only 31 points behind the championship leader.

"We made a lot of really big changes to the bike during the weekend which Taylor is very happy with, so I believe we've got a really strong package now that can win the championship."

Richardson was also in impressive form once again, claiming another top 10 finish, which leaves him 21st in the standings.

Fellow Astro JJR rider David Allingham finished the superstock race in 17th and now sits one place below his team-mate in the championship.

The BSB and the rest of the support classes now head to Silverstone this weekend.

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