Bradley Ray says he opted to focus on the long game for his 2018 Bennetts British Superbike championship ambitions with Buildbase Suzuki after retaining his overall points lead at Brands Hatch Indy.

The surprise double race winner at the Donington Park season opener has kept hold of his BSB championship lead thanks to securing second place in the race one before settling for seventh place in the wet race two after rain red flagged the initial start of the race at Brands Hatch Indy.

Ray’s results see him lead the BSB championship by 10 points from six-time title winner Shane Byrne, who beat the Buildbase Suzuki rider to victory in race one at the Kent circuit, but the 20-year-old demonstrated impressive maturity to be content with a useful points haul at round two.

“To come away leading the championship is a big thing,” Ray said. “We came into this weekend off the back of a really strong round one and the spotlight was on a little bit, but we know we can’t win everything.

“We had really good pace this weekend, and the pace was there to win race one, I just made a mistake and let Shakey [Byrne] past, and once he came by he had a few bike lengths. I didn’t try to chase, we just took second.

“In race two we led again and I was feeling good but it rained and we had to go again. In the wet the rear was spinning a lot and in those conditions you can go down at any point. Seventh and nine points was good, good for our championship.”

Ray concedes he’s still lacking a competitive package and setting with his Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the wet but has faith in the dry he can compete for further race wins at the next round at Oulton Park in May before the mid-season break.

“We just need a bit more time in the wet to develop our setup,” he said. “We’ll look at the data and try and improve for our next wet session.

“In the dry we have a good setting, good pace, and I feel really comfortable on the bike. We’ll go to Oulton with some good points and it’s nice to come away still leading the championship.”

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