Bradley Ray and the Buildbase Suzuki team enjoyed a positive wildcard appearance in this weekend’s World Superbike round at Donington Park, utilising the experience to gain more track time and improve the GSX-R1000 superbike, and coming away with a some world championship points to boot.
The weekend started strongly, firstly with wet free practice giving the team chance to work on wet weather setup, before Ray posted a time that saw him progress straight to Superpole 2.
From his 10th placed grid spot, the 21-year-old diced with a number of experienced riders on full World Superbike spec machines in both races, coming away with two points-scoring finishes. After battling for the top 10, rear tyre wear saw Ray surrender a few positions, but he still came away with a 14th and 15th.
Ray said, “We had a really enjoyable and also productive weekend. Honestly, the important thing for us was more track time and to really treat the whole thing as a big test first and foremost. We couldn’t compare ourselves to the world superbike teams we had to compare our performance to when we were last at Donington for the opening BSB round, and we can safely say we’ve found some real improvements. That said, I’d be lying if I said we didn’t also want to give a good account of ourselves and show what we could do against the best superbike riders and teams in the world, and given our bike is built to a different specification, I think we can be really happy with two point-scoring finishes. I’ve got to say thank you to the team for giving me the opportunity, and I’m looking forward to Snetterton for the next BSB round.”
Team manager, Steve Hicken, added, “We’re definitely happy with our performances this weekend. Practice went well and Brad did a great job of going straight through to SP2 and set a good lap time in qualifying. In the races he made two good starts and was battling for the top 10, but as the races went on you could see the difference between BSB-spec and WSBK-spec machines, and we couldn’t quite save the rear tyre as much as they could – we were just spinning it up a bit too much. But the results are something to be proud of, and more importantly we were able to try some new things with the bike and improve in some key areas, ready for when we return to BSB action next month.”