Heartache for OMG Racing's Brad Ray after missing out on British Superbike Championship showdown
TEAM principal Paul Curran could not hide his disappointment after OMG Racing’s Brad Ray missed out on securing a showdown place following the latest round of the British Superbike Championship at Silverstone.
Six riders, including Stratford-based OMG’s very own Ray, were to battle it out for the final showdown placings ahead of round nine at Oulton Park on 24th-26th September.
Practice proved to be a fruitful affair for Kyle Ryde and Ray, with the duo finishing second and tenth respectively to progress through to the second qualifying group.
Here, their fortunes turned as a cancelled lap and crash for Ryde saw him qualify 14th, with Ray just behind in 15th.
Ray and Ryde knew what was needed and worked hard from lights out to the chequered flag in race one.
A race of attrition and the fortune of keeping out of trouble saw a vital top ten for both riders.
Ray took an impressive fifth to pile the pressure on those around him in the showdown battle while Ryde came home in a confidence-boosting eighth.
For race two, Ray’s objective was clear: finish ahead of Josh Brookes. Ray put in a Herculean effort to try and beating the reigning champion, but unfortunately lost out by 0.086s at the line.
Issues with rear grip were to be the story for Ryde, as he picked up the final championship point in 15th.
Race three provided one last chance for Ray to make it into the showdown.
However, a mechanical failure for a Suzuki left fluid on the circuit, which brought out the red flag and resulted in a race restart.
This was a bitter pill to swallow for Ray, who had been patient in the opening stages of the race, while Ryde was still searching for grip.
The restarted race over 15 laps fell into the hands of Brookes and Danny Buchan, as the pair headed Ray through the race.
As valiantly as Ray fought to close the gap on Brookes and Buchan, the showdown slipped from his fingers, missing out by just four points after crossing the line seventh.
A frustrated Ryde would finish outside the points in a lowly 17th.
Curran said: “It was a difficult weekend for us all as far as the superbike pair of Brad and Kyle are concerned.
“We knew we had a chance of the showdown with Brad and that Kyle is really fast around Silverstone, so hopes were high.
“Sometimes things don’t go the way we want them to. Brad deserved a showdown place on his performances alone, but it wasn’t to be.
“Kyle is disappointed not only with his results, but also in the fact that he couldn’t help his good friend out, which shows the bond in the team.”
Meanwhile, OMG’s Billy McConnell remains well in the hunt for the National Superstock Championship title.
The Aussie rider finished second in the first race, losing ground on championship leader Tim Neave who crossed the chequered flag in first place.
McConnell lost more ground on his title rival in the second race after coming home fourth while Neave finished on the rostrum again in second.
With three rounds to go, McConnell is 22 points behind Neave and one clear of third-placed Alex Olsen.