Ryde sees heart rate rise, Vickers “not doing anything stupid” as Yamaha lock out Navarra front row

It was a clean sweep for the Yamaha riders in Spain for the opening round of British Superbikes, with differing approaches from OMG riders Ryan Vickers and Kyle Ryde to complete the front row.

Ryan Vickers, BSB, 2024, Navarra, in superpole qualifying
Ryan Vickers, BSB, 2024, Navarra, in superpole qualifying
© Ian Hopgood Photography

Yamaha put on impressive showing in Navarra as the opening round of the British Superbikes season got under way.

There are only three Yamaha bikes on the grid this season, but they find themselves in the desirable position of a front row lockout after Saturday’s superpole action.

Danny Kent claimed pole, but he was pushed all the way by the OMG Grilla pair of Kyle Ryde and Ryan Vickers.

Vickers came closest, finishing just 0.039s behind the McAMS bike and frustratingly he was faster in practice, but was still not satisfied with that lap, feeling there was more time to come:

“If you actually try for a lap, then you normally end up going slower and when I was commentating on that lap I did this morning - it was quick enough to put me quickest - but you know it wasn’t actually a great lap when you actually analysed it”. 

The #7 went into greater detail on where time is won and lost at the Spanish track:

"Missing the apex by a foot on one of those tight, hairpin, first gear corners is probably four feet on the exit and it just changes the point where you can get on the gas - so it’s easy to lose time by making a small mistake".

Vickers instead chose to concentrate on running a solid lap after three of their rivals failed to get around their flying lap, notably a crash for Leon Haslam and the red flag incident involving Tommy Bridewell - instead concentrating on “not doing anything stupid, not braking any later, not trying to set the world on fire" concluding "and that’s what I did, I just hit my marks, it was a pretty clean lap”.

Teammate Kyle Ryde had arrived as a strong favourite after his pre season form had seen him finish both the Donington and Navarra tests on top of the timesheets.

Ryde, already not a massive fan of the Superpole format, saw his nerves go through the roof after the red flag for Tommy Bridewell’s mechanical:

“The approach was all going sweet, the heart rate was down, I felt like I was chilled out and ready to do a good job. I mean, it’s not a bad job anyway in third, but I felt like I could do a little bit better - but the red flag came out!”

The #77 rider continued : “ suddenly my heart rate went from about 120 to 160 - without even getting on my bike!”

“It’d have been nice not to have the red flag, but apart from that I’m very pleased with third, the job today was to get on the front row".

Mission achieved, Ryde took the time to give credit to Danny Kent, the pole man headed out on track directly after Bridewell and would have been first to find any oil residue:

"Fair play to Danny, he was the first one out and obviously the first sector of the track is very fast as most people know…I’m sure Danny’s team said the same, obviously if it was not safe they’d have pulled in".

All three Yamaha riders will aim to make the most of their front row starts with two races scheduled in Navarra to get the BSB season started.

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