MCE British Superbike rookie Bradley Ray impressed in the second round at Brands Hatch this weekend as he secured his debut top ten finish despite a plethora of setbacks throughout the weekend.
Two crashes on Saturday left Ray severely hampered in qualifying as he was forced to run the factory parts temporarily cast aside by Bennetts Suzuki team-mate Sylvain Guintoli. While in theory these parts should be better, having spent no time testing on them Ray struggled in qualifying and was left to start Monday’s opening race 19th.
Fighting through the pack, Ray finished 12th in the opening race but it was in race two where he turned heads, charging through the pack, including past former World Champion team-mate Guintoli to take a strong eighth place.
While the rookie was pleased with the result, he was able to run a similar pace to the leading group in the second race so was left rueing what could have been had the costly crashes on Saturday not held him back in qualifying.
“I’m over the moon with that result,” he told MCN. “We got a good start and was with the leading group, I realised I could keep the pace so when the group spread out I passed quite a few people.
“I’m confident in a few more laps I’d have been fighting for the top six. If I hadn’t crashed twice on Saturday I could probably have qualified a bit better then who knows, maybe it would be better than an eighth place! But we know we’ve got the pace now so we’ll turn our attention to qualifying.
“My aim was to be up with Guintoli towards the middle of the season, but to be up with him now and beating him is amazing. I think I’ve got to keep my head down, stay grounded and keep working away and hopefully we can be fighting in the top five every weekend.”
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