2022 British Superbike Knockhill: Ray seals race one with dominant performance

Bradley Ray’s lead was barely challenged as he stayed out front from lights out to chequered flag to win the opening sprint race at Knockhill, the fourth round of the championship.
2022 British Superbike Knockhill: Ray seals race one with dominant performance

Bradley Ray surprised himself by leading the whole of the 22 lap Saturday race at Knockhill. Something that he had not planned for after missing the recent test and much of Friday’s action following a fall.

The The Rich Energy OMG rider had already battled the odds to come through Q1 and go on to secure pole. Initial pressure from the riders behind soon faded away as they battled each other for position allowing Ray to pull out a lead even he wasn’t expecting:

“It was a bit of a strange race for me. I set off at the start and I wasn’t planning on leading the whole racefrom start to finish…I set a pace I was really comfortable with, I didn’t feel lime I was near the limit.”


The Yamaha rider went on to explain that the biggest late threat to his lead was when he came to lap the backmarkers:

“ I had a bit of drama with a backmarker which obviously closed them up but the last few laps I was just bringing it home”.

The win extends an excellent run of form for Ray with three wins to his name already this season and a podium appearance in every race bar the Silverstone one where he crashed out while leading.

Setting a lap record in the Knockhill sprint ensures Ray is well placed for his success to continue as he will sit on pole for race two.


O’Halloran ‘over the moon’ in second


Jason O’Halloran  did his best to catch Ray but left it too late after a battle with Rory Skinner to bridge the gap. The Australian thinks of Knockhill as a ‘bogey’ track so was elated with his second place finish for McAMS - a Yamaha 1-2 finish.

“To be honest, I’m over the moon. I really enjoyed the race. Brad (Ray) was a littlle bit faster than us so I’m happy with the pace I had.

“ I had a bit of a fight with Rory (Skinner) at the start and lost a bit of time and managed to get back by and settled into my own race”.

Second in the race keeps the Australian second in the overall standing to Ray, now by 33 points.

Rory Skinner had plenty to celebrate at his home round as he returned to the podium for the first time since Silverstone after a comeback performance on the Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki ensuring Yamaha didn’t completely dominate the podium.

After taking the race to Ray in the opening stages, a small error handed his rival a lead and saw him drop back into the clutches of the riders behind:

“ I was up just behind Brad and made a small mistake at the hairpin which allowed Jason to get a bit closer and he made a move on me and I dropped back a couple of places for 10-15 laps.

The Scottish rider didn’t let the local fans down and responded for a second attack.

“From then I just kind of regrouped and managed to get right onto the back of and then pass Lee (Jackson) and Kyle (Ryde) and from then on it was trying to set a pace and match what Jason was doing and not let him get too far away from me”.

He finished by adding that bringing a podium finish home, at home was ‘mega’.

His team-mate Lee Jackson was the best of the rest as Skinner just managed to gwt ahead as they too encountered backmarkers, then held position to the line.

After the battle for position splintered Danny Buchan was a fairly solitary fifth for SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad, with Kyle Ryde, who had climbed as high as third on the second Rich Energy OMG Yamaha, losing out as he slipped to sixth at the windy track.

Glenn Irwin again looked a long way from his opening round dominance as he collected seventh for Honda, holding off the advances of Oxford Products Ducati rider Tommy Bridewell.

Strom Stacy (Team LKQ Euro Car Parts Kawasaki enjoyed a best finish of ninth as he battled with the pair on track.

MCE Ducati’s Josh Brookes won the battle of the big names for tenth position as they all continue to struggle for form. He finished ahead of Leon Halam, with the former BSB champion eleventh for VisionTrack Kawasaki and his MCE Ducati team-mate Tom Sykes who was twelfth.

The remaining points went to The FHO Racing BMW pair of Peter Hickman and Ryan Vickers in 13th and 15th respectively, split by Andrew Irwin (SYNETIQ BMW Mottorad) in 14th.

All action before the race start

There was drama before a wheel was turned in anger and Christian Iddon hit Josh Owens on the sighting lap. The Buildbase Suzuki mechanics got the bike back on track to line up at the back of the grid but Iddon only lasted a handful of laps before retirinf to the pits - he was later diagnosed with a fractured wrist which will see him miss the remainder of the Knockhill weekend.

Dan Linfoot and Dan Jones also failed to go the distance.

Liam Delves and, more notably, reigning champion Tarran Macknzie failed to start after their crashes earlier in the weekend.

Mackenzie was disappointed to miss out but two huge crashes saw him destroy the McAMS Yamaha twice with a decision taken to skip the sprint race and return for race two tomorrow.

Read More