Bradley Ray got off to an explosive start, smashing the lap record in qualifying for round nine of the championship, a return to Oulton Park to begin the Showdown.

Bradley Ray shut down the question of who was getting pole as soon as he hit the track in qualifying for the first of the Showdown races at Oulton Park.

The Rich Energy OMG rider had already given a hint of what was to come, having already dipped under the old lap record with ease in free practice 2, but not quite matching his own best from earlier in the season at the track.

British Superbikes Oulton Park (showdown)- Qualifying
     
PosRiderNatTeamTime
1Bradley RayGBRRICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha1m 32.948s
2Tommy BridewellGBROxford Products Racing Ducati+0.796s
3Jason O'HalloranAUSMcAMS Yamaha=0.919s
4Peter HickmanGBRFHO Racing BMW+1.054s
5Tarran MackenzieGBRMcAMS Yamaha+1.055s
6Leon HaslamGBRVisiontrack Kawasaki+1.063s
7Andrew IrwinGBRSYNETIQ BMW Motorrad+1.111s
8Danny BuchanGBRSYNETIQ BMW Motorrad+1.118s
9Glenn IrwinGBRHonda Racing UK+1.136s
10Rory SkinnerGBRFS-3 Racing Kawasaki+1.178s
11Lee JacksonGBRFS-3 Racing Kawasaki+1.219s
12Kyle RydeGBRRICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha+1.223s
13Josh BrookesAUSMCE Ducati+1.227s
14Ryan VickersGBRFHO Racing BMW with Attis Sports+1.266s
15Christian IddonGBRBuildbase Suzuki+1.277s
16Tom SykesGBRMCE Ducati+1.356s
17Dean HarrisonGBRDAO Racing Kawasaki+1.807s
18Takumi TakahashiJAPHonda Racing UK+1.861s
  Q1  
PosRiderNatTeamTime
19Danny KentGBRBuildbase Suzuki1m 35.061s
20Tom NeaveGBRHonda Racing UK1m 35.130s
21Josh OwensGBRRapid CDH Racing Kawasaki1m 35.241s
22Storm StaceyGBRTeam LKQ Euro Parts Kawasaki1m 35.381s
23Ryo MizunoJAPHonda Racing UK1m 35.629s
24Chrissy RouseGBRCrowe Performance BMW1m 35.670s
25Leon JeacockGBRSpecsavers Suzuki1m 36.188s
26Liam DelvesGBRRapid CDH Racing Kawasaki1m 37.462s
 
  
  

That did not last as the #28 had purple sectors all over his first flying lap, a huge 1m 32.948s lap, the first sub 1m 33s lap of the circuit.

Ray arrives at the first Showdown race with all the confidence and momentum that comes with adding a triple win as Snetterton last time out to an already successful season.

At the time it was set the margin back to second was well over a second as the field tried to keep in touch.

Tommy Bridewell picked up the challenge and dropped the difference down to 0.796s on the Oxford Products Ducati to claim second as Ray sat comfortably in the pits.

He joined him in the final minutes as Jason O’Halloran held onto the final front row slot despite some late challenges for McAMS Yamaha.

He leapfrogged Peter Hickman for the position from fifth with just over 30 seconds left on the clock. The FHO Racing BMW rider did not fall below fourth. The #60 is the highest placing non-Showdown rider, leading instead the standings for the Rider’s Cup.

Recovery for Mackenzie

 

The defending champion arrives at the Showdown this season in a better position than he was in last year when he went on to take the title after O’Halloran had the performance and the momentum in the main section of the season. That is despite missing the first two rounds through injury.

Tarran Mackenzie had not ridden a lap of the Cheshire track since last year after missing the first six races of the season, which included the first visit to Oulton Park.

The current #1 rider left it late to climb from 13th to fifth as the chequered flag came out, with only a thousandth separating  the MCAMS Yamaha rider and Hickman ahead.

A big push also took Leon Haslam up the timesheets for VisionTrack Kawasaki to sixth.

Andrew Irwin (Synetiq BMW Motorrad) was pushed back to seventh, while Rory Skinner (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) moved up from 14th to ninth in the slipstream of O’Halloran on his best lap, but was shuffled back one position by Glenn Irwin on the Honda.

Lee Jackson was a race winner at the track earlier in the year, but his season continued it’s unfortunate tail off in results as the best of the rest in eleventh for Cheshire Mouldings FS-3  Kawasaki.

Kyle Ryde was the lowest of the Showdown participants in twelfth on the second Rich Energy OMG entry.

Josh Brookes came through Q1 with the best time ahead of Jackson, Andrew Irwin, Ryan Vickers, Dean Harrison and Takahashi but couldn’t keep the big improvements needed coming into Q2 so starts 13th for MCE Ducati only rising from 18th in the final moments of the session.

What else happened in Q1?

 

Takumi Takahashi jumped from eight to sixth, taking the place of his team-mate at Honda Racing Tom Neave. Tha Japanese rider went on to place 18th.

Neave was pushed a further place back as Danny Kent had a late push for progression, but just missed out in seventh, for 19th on the grid.

Josh Owens was ninth in Q1 (21st)- riding with a broken bone in his hand for Rapid CDH Racing Kawasaki.

Oulton Park Stats:

BSB Oulton Park Old Lap Record -   Tommy Bridewell (2019) Ducati - 1m 33.941s

Round Two at Oulton Park 2022

Qualifying:
Pole: Kyle Ryde

Race One: Bradley Ray
Race Two: Bradley Ray
Race Three: Lee Jackson

2021 at Oulton Park

Round One:
Qualifying:
Pole:Tommy Bridewell

Race One (sprint): Jason O’Halloran
Race Two: Jason O’Halloran
Race Three: Jason O’Halloran

Round Nine(Showdown):
Qualifying:
Pole: Josh Brookes

Race One (sprint): Tarran Mackenzie
Race Two: Tommy Bridewell
Race Three: Tommy Bridewell