Express & Star

Frustrating and action-packed BSB weekend at Silverstone for region's teams and riders

Motorbike racing can be defined by the smallest of margins – and that rang true for the region's riders and teams as the British Superbike series returned to Silverstone.

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Cannock-based OMG Racing rider Bradley Ray narrowly missed out on the top eight Showdown positions in the main BSB series by just four points as reigning champion Josh Brookes finally found some form.

Ray managed to claim a fourth, fifth and seventh but that still was not enough to grab that final Showdown position – to be in with any chance of claiming the title.

Team-mate Kyle Ryde also found some of his best form in Northamptonshire, taking an eighth in race one but then struggled in the final two races, finishing 15th and 17th to sit 15th in the championship.

Ray said: "It's actually been quite a positive weekend. We had good pace in all three races.

"We had a fourth, fifth and seventh, so that's not bad – bit of a bummer that last race being red flagged but, yeah, didn't quite make the Showdown cut, which is very frustrating.

"I feel we definitely had the pace to make the Showdown.

"Bit of a shame not to make the top eight but we'll just regroup, go again and just try and bring back as many trophies as possible. All in all, positive but frustrating."

Eccleshall star Storm Stacey, 18, continued his consistent form and grabbed another BSB championship point after claiming a 15th, 18th and 19th, to sit 19th in the standings.

The ultra-competitive National Superstock series also threw up some of the closest racing of the weekend, which saw OMG Racing rider Billy McConnell back on the podium, after claiming a second and fourth, which leaves him second in the standings, 22 points behind leader Tom Neave.

McConnell said: "I'm just a bit frustrated. I felt the tyres felt a bit different when I was hard on the brakes and I just feel the wheels where a little bit out of balance.

"There was a little bit of juddering going on and I couldn't stay with the pace of boys at the front, which was so frustrating because I knew they were my two title rivals.

"We had these little bits of chattering going on and we couldn't understand why, sliding a lot and trying to work out what the hell was going on there.

"But over all a second and fourth. If it wasn't for the boys who were in front of me I'd probably be happy with that."

Round eight of the superstock championship also saw continued improvements in the performance of the Black Country-based Bathams Racing BMW M1000RR.

However, with the closest racing of the superstock season so far taking place at Silverstone, Bathams rider Taylor Mackenzie was unlucky to be at the wrong end of the pack while racing for victory in both races.

Mackenzie finished just 2.6 seconds behind the winner after 22 laps of the Northamptonshire circuit in race one, which was only good enough for seventh position.

The team made a number of set up changes for race two, which paid dividends as faster lap times followed throughout the whole race for Mackenzie, who had started from 10th position on the grid.

His lap times were good enough to be able to compete with the podium finishers on pace, but not enough to make up for track position, having started on row four.

Mackenzie eventually finished in eighth position, just four seconds away from the podium, while the two results left him fifth in the championship standings, 45 points behind the leader.

Bathams Racing team boss Michael Rutter said: "Not going to lie, that one was tough to take.

"Being so close to the podium at the end of both races but to only come away with a seventh and eighth is frustrating, but that's racing.

"Sometimes you're just at the wrong end of the line."

Brownhills-based Astro JJR rider Shane Richardson managed to finish 17th and 18th in the same class, to sit 21st in the championship, with team-mate David Allingham in 22nd and 24th.

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