Ray, who has been back to his best since switching BMW for Yamaha machinery at the end of 2021, topped two of the three BSB sessions, the other going the way of FHO Racing BMW’s Peter Hickman. 

The Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha rider finished a sizable +0.388s clear of Glenn Irwin who completed a hat-trick at Silverstone last weekend. 

Ray’s top time came during the closing stages when grip was at its best, while his time of 1:33.971s was just +0.030s off Tommy Bridewell’s all-time lap record. 

"It has been a very productive day to be fair," said Ray. "It is the first time I have ridden the Yamaha here, although we have been to Silverstone and Snetterton, which are flatter style circuits, so we have worked through a lot today.

"We have worked hard on improving the package and understand what we need to do and we found a fairly sweet spot towards the end of the day.

"We still have some work to do coming into the race weekend, but overall I am happy and the lap time was really good at the end. I am feeling comfortable and we have just been keeping the momentum going from Silverstone so I am looking forward to coming back for the race next weekend."

Ray the favourite heading to Oulton or can Irwin produce another moment of BSB magic?

Based on the test Ray seemed to be a step above the rest, but like at Silverstone, both he and team-mate Kyle Ryde were faster than Irwin during practice and it wasn’t until qualifying and all three races that the Honda rider showed his true potential. 

Although Irwin didn’t have the pace to break away in race one or two - managed to create a gap in the final race before Ray began to close in - his biggest strength was using the CBR1000RR-R’s incredible traction to gain the lead early, before defending his advantage to the finish line, something Ray, Ryde and others will need to be wary of at Oulton. 

Ray could and possibly should have won race two after extending his lead to nearly a second with a few laps to go, however, a front-end crash at Luffield resulted in Irwin and Ryde replicating their race one scrap on the final lap. 

Finishing second during the test once again showed Irwin and the bike are working extremely well at the moment, therefore betting again the road and track specialist is perhaps not the wisest move.

Can Ducati bounce back?

The manufacturer that struggled most at Silverstone was Ducati as they finished without a top five, only Suzuki who have just one rider on the grid failed to do so too.

After showing impressive pace during testing, Tom Sykes and Josh Brookes found breaking into the top ten a real struggle, while things were slightly better for Bridewell, but still not what was expected. 

Oulton should benefit the Panigale V4 R more, a circuit where Bridewell and Brookes have gone very well previously, but with Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki and even BMW showing good form at round one, Ducati will need an immediate bounce back effort.