3 September 2015
MotoGP Silverstone: Ray positive after GP debut
Bradley Ray showed signs of promise in the Moto2 class at Silverstone despite crashing out of the race, is hopeful of another wildcard in 2015
Former Red Bull Rookie Bradley Ray took the positives from his debut grand prix appearance after a “strange” crash prematurely ended his Moto2 race.
Competing aboard FAB Racing's FTR chassis, Ray also revealed that he is hopeful of another wildcard appearance in 2015, with Valencia in November pencilled in as a possibility.
The 18-year old arrived at Silverstone with limited experience aboard the machine, having only put the FTR through its paces at three separate track days. Even then, Ray revealed that, unknown to the team, there had been no gas in his front forks prior to the weekend, meaning he “basically started from scratch on Friday.”
Using FTR's chassis which dates back to 2012, Ray posted positive times on Friday as he ended the day ahead of Florian Alt, Federico Caricasulo and Robin Mulhauser with a fastest time that was less than three seconds off Sam Lowes' quickest lap of the day.
Saturday didn't bring such joy however, as a crash on the out-lap of FP3 was quickly followed by another off during just his second lap in qualifying with the front end offering no feeling nor warning before both falls.
Going into the race, Ray was buoyed by a rain shower that peppered the grid but soon found his wet tyres were not suited to the drying track.
“I got a fairly good start. I think on the first lap I was about 28th,” he told Crash.net on Sunday afternoon. “I felt comfortable on the bike. Obviously having wet tyres and the dry line on track the bike was moving quite a bit. I got up to 26th on the second lap and as I started the third I went into the first corner, tipped it in and it was a weird crash.
“I was off the gas but the rear came round and chucked me over the front. I still don't know why I crashed, which is a bit annoying. Normally you know why and you can work on it for the next time. I still don't know why, it was strange.
“When we were sat on the grid the rain started coming down a bit harder so we thought wets were definitely the way to go. Then on the warm up lap coming to the grid the rain stopped and the track was basically bone dry after about two laps with the dry line. You could just feel the wet tyres moving on the dry track.
“We're just a bit disappointed. We've had a few crashes this weekend and haven't had good bike set-up. We're a bit battered and bruised but still fighting for the next one.”
Although disappointed to have missed out on a finish, Ray revealed he and the FAB Racing set up are hopeful of another world championship appearance later in the year.
“There are always positives to take from a weekend, especially a MotoGP weekend, where you're riding against 31 of the world's best riders. It's been a great experience this weekend.
“We're hoping to do another wildcard, maybe at Valencia or somewhere like that. The positive would be to do another appearance with more track time on the bike so we could start the next one not already on the back foot.
“If you do a lot more testing and have more time to get your suspension set-up along with the geometry. You can start playing around with that, which is a key thing on the Moto2 bike. To be up and ready before free practice is what you want.”
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