Bradley Ray secured a resounding victory in the opening Bennetts British Superbike Championship race of the weekend at Snetterton. The Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha rider mastered the eBay Sprint Race to take the chequered flag with a 2.437s advantage.
The opening race of the weekend was preceded by a two-minutes silence on the grid, paying tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
As the race got underway Ray took the lead, but on the opening lap, Danny Buchan had his Showdown chances made all the more difficult when he was involved in a crash with Ryan Vickers and Josh Owens at Agostini. The incident meant that the BMW Safety Car was deployed.
When the race resumed, Ray was leading the pack and the championship leader continued to try to break the pack, edging out an advantage that took him to his fifth victory of the season.
The jostle for the Showdown Title Fighter positions continued and defending champion Tarran Mackenzie fought his way through the pack after dropping places at the start, working his way through to second place by lap eight.
Mackenzie was able to fend off the challenges from Yamaha rival Kyle Ryde as the rider holding the most precarious position in the standings returned to the podium for the first time since Donington Park. Ryde moves into tomorrow's decisive two races with a 30-point margin over Buchan in ninth place.
Christian Iddon had his best result of the season in fourth place for the Buildbase Suzuki team, he had been involved in the podium battle after starting from pole position.
Leon Haslam delivered an impressive performance to move up the order from 21st on the grid to finish the race in fifth place for the local VisionTrack Kawasaki team to keep his outside chances of a place in the Showdown alive.
Lee Jackson was sixth in the race, scoring valuable points that would confirm his place in the Showdown for the first time to ensure both Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki riders feature in the final title fight.
Tom Sykes was seventh on the leading MCE Ducati, holding off the challenges from Peter Hickman, who has dropped a position in the standings and Glenn Irwin.
Irwin had been battling for a top five position when he ran off track on lap seven, but also became the fifth rider to guarantee their place in the Showdown.
Danny Kent completed the top ten for Buildbase Suzuki, whilst there was disappointment for Tommy Bridewell as the Oxford Products Racing Ducati rider appeared to suffer a technical problem. He briefly stopped on lap seven before continuing, but he was unable to score a point in his quest to be one of the Title Fighters in the Showdown.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Snetterton, eBay Sprint race:
- Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha)
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +2.437s
- Kyle Ryde (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) +4.474s
- Christian Iddon (Buildbase Suzuki) +4.894s
- Leon Haslam (VisionTrack Kawasaki) +8.353s
- Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) +9.264s
- Tom Sykes (MCE Ducati) +10.146s
- Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) +11.412s
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing UK) +12.713s
- Danny Kent (Buildbase Suzuki) +13.273s
For the full race result please click here
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings:
- Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) 397 - SHOWDOWN CONFIRMED
- Jason O'Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 363 - SHOWDOWN CONFIRMED
- Rory Skinner (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) 241 - SHOWDOWN CONFIRMED
- Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) 235 - SHOWDOWN CONFIRMED
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing UK) 221- SHOWDOWN CONFIRMED
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 206
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) 201
- Kyle Ryde (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) 194
- Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) 164
- Leon Haslam (VisionTrack Kawasaki) 154
- Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) 152
For the full standings please click here