Ray claims best WorldSBK finish of his career in Race 2, “it was unbelievable”

After qualifying sixth, Bradley Ray recovered from two races where issues hampered him by claiming P6 in the final race of the Imola WorldSBK round.
Bradley Ray, Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSBK Imola 2023
Bradley Ray, Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSBK Imola 2023

The reigning British Superbike champion was impressive throughout practice before delivering a sensational lap in Superpole.

But the Brit admitted he out-qualified his true pace which was one of the reasons for him sliding down to 15th, as were issues with his R1.

A gear shifter resulted in another drop down the field in the Superpole Race, however, Ray delivered in Race 2 by finishing ahead race winners Loris Baz and Scott Redding. 

"It was unbelievable," said Ray when talking to WorldSBK.com. "Obviously it was my first time here at Imola but it didn’t take me too long to get used to the track which was nice. 

"I’ve really strong all weekend but, honestly, the racing has been the most difficult part for me this year. 

"I hadn’t been qualifying so well, so the races were difficult to try and make steps forward. I probably out-qualified my pace that I had throughout the race and that’s why I dropped back. 

"We had a few issues in Saturday’s race that hindered me from going forwards. Also, this morning in the Superpole Race we had a problem with the gear shifter. 

"It was nice to put that to bed in Race 2 this afternoon and I knew that I had to dig in during the first few laps." 

After coming under pressure from Baz, Ray instead found good pace during the closing laps in order to break away from the BMW rider, who instead came under threat from Redding.

Describing what it was like to be hunted down for several laps, Ray added: "I had plus three on my board in the last few laps, so I just hit my markers. 

"I wasn’t very strong in the first sector but I knew that I was quite strong in the rest of the lap. 

"I just had to get past that and I knew that I could hold them off to the line."

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