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OMG Racing come away from British Superbike Championship opener at Silverstone with four podiums

THERE could not have been a better start to the British Superbike Championship season for OMG Racing, as they came away from the opening round at Silverstone with four podiums from three races.

Bradley Ray in action at Silverstone. Photo: Ian Ward
Bradley Ray in action at Silverstone. Photo: Ian Ward

The opening race of the championship was a huge success for the Stratford-based team, as Kyle Ryde and Brad Ray fired their Yamaha R1 machines to second and third place respectively in a close fought 24-lap race at Silverstone on Saturday.

A race-long battle with Honda Racing’s Glenn Irwin saw the pair trade lap records in pursuit of the Northern Irishman, before the chequered flag ended their push for the top step.

After a super Saturday to open OMG’s podium count, there was double delight on Sunday as Ryde and Ray took a brace of second-placed finishes at the Northamptonshire circuit.

Starting on pole for race two, Ryde made a great start but was beaten to turn one by his team-mate who settled into his rhythm quickly and looked comfortable leading the field.

Unfortunately, disaster struck for the race leader as he slid out of the race at Luffield, leaving Glenn Irwin and Ryde to battle for the win, but despite his best efforts in the last corner, the former British GP2 champion had to settle for second place at the flag.

Race three rounded off the opening weekend’s action and this time it was Ray who took pole position courtesy of his new lap record set during race two.

Kyle Ryde in action at Silverstone. Photo: Ian Ward
Kyle Ryde in action at Silverstone. Photo: Ian Ward

A strong start from both riders saw them both tip into turn one almost together, before something caused them to be swallowed back into the pack.

It became apparent early on that there was something amiss with Ryde, before Ray made his move through the riders ahead to make a charge on Irwin.

At least two big moments in the closing stages didn’t deter Ray, but he couldn’t quite close the Northern Irishman down, taking his second second-place finish of the weekend to bring OMG’s overall podium tally to four at the conclusion of the opening round.

James Hillier. Photo: Ian Ward (56163475)
James Hillier. Photo: Ian Ward (56163475)

The Road Racing team had a good Easter at the home of the British MotoGP as both David Johnson and James Hillier worked their way through the team’s plans and continued adjustment to their Yamaha R1 machines.

It was the first competitive meeting in the black and gold of RICH Energy OMG Racing for Aussie Johnson, as the red tape was finally cut and he could join the team.

Both riders lapped Silverstone with personal best times with Hillier completing all three races. Johnson retired from race three having finished in the top 20 in race two.

David Johnson. Photo: Ian Ward (56163473)
David Johnson. Photo: Ian Ward (56163473)

Meanwhile, Chloe Jones and Lissy Whitmore made their competitive debut for the team over the weekend, making exceptional progress across the three days. Jones knew the step up to the National Junior Superstock aboard her Yamaha R6 was going to be difficult.

After a challenging qualifying session left the 18-year-old down in 33rd position, she had a tremendous race, finishing 19th at the flag.

Starting her first full British Junior Supersport weekend, Whitmore improved hand over fist across the weekend on her Yamaha R3, finishing both races and improving lap times across each session.

Team principal Paul Curran said: “That was a busy weekend. It’s been long hours in the workshop but the weekend is just reward for all that hard work.

"Having four superbikes, a Junior Supersport, and a Junior Superstock bike has been a challenge, but the team rose to it and I’d like to thank them all.

“Four podiums over a weekend is exceptional and even though we knew we’d be strong here, Brad and Kyle did a great job. Racing has its ups and downs but overall I’m delighted with all six riders’ results and now we look forward to the test at Oulton Park on Thursday.”

The next round of the British Superbike Championship takes place at Oulton Park from 30th April to 2nd May.

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