MCE British Superbike rookie Bradley Ray impressed as practice got underway for the second round of the 2017 series at Brands Indy today.
Despite crashing in both sessions the Buildbase Suzuki rider rounded out FP2 sixth quickest and just 0.256 seconds off pacesetter James Ellison as he continues to impress even though he has just one race under his belt.
Riding at his home circuit, Ray lost significant track time after a spill in the morning session at Graham Hill bend caused by his engine casing clipping the curb. He made up for lost time in session two to record a quickest lap of 45’376, just 0.1 sec off the official lap record. However, he’d then go on to crash for a second time of the day at Clearways in the closing stages.
“I was quite surprised and of course pleased with the lap time but the annoying bit was I crashed afterwards!” he told MCN. “I’m feeling really good on the bike, we’re improving session by session but we need to figure out why I crashed this afternoon. This morning the engine casing clipped the kerb and I was off at Graham Hill, but this afternoon as soon as I hit the brakes on tipping into Clearways the front went, it was quite a shock to me.”
Not only is Ray the quickest rookie, but he’s also the quickest Suzuki after outpacing both of his Hawk Racing team-mates Sylvain Guintoli and Taylor Mackenzie.
“Obviously it’s important to beat your team-mate and it’s nice, but I’m trying to do my own thing and get ready to the races. Of course if I beat the Bennetts guys it’s definitely a positive!”
After such strong pace in practice, the local rider remains realistic ahead of Monday’s two races with a goal of two top ten finishes.
“We’ve spent quite a lot of time on a used softer tyre so if we can do the times we’ve been doing on that late on in the race then I think we can be there in the top ten at the end. I need to make sure I get the best out of the tyre at the start which is what I struggled with at Donington.”
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