Bradley Ray’s first visit to Imola ended with his best result so far this season after a sixth-place race-two finish as the Superbike World Championship season continued in Italy.
The Lydd MotoxRacing Yamaha rider’s weekend began with a superb sixth in the Superpole, his 1min46.595 time sealing a second-row slot for the first 19-lap race. A fast start saw him with the leading group, but a loss of tyre pressure on his Yamaha ended his charge and he finished 15th - just inside the points. Spain’s Alvaro Bautista won the race.
A technical problem caused Ray to run off track in Sunday’s 10-lap Superpole race won by Turkey’s Toprak Razgatlioglu. Rejoining last, he made up ground to finish 16th but saved his best for last in a shortened race two due to excessive temperatures.
Another excellent start put Ray up to eighth, inside the leading group. His race pace stayed strong throughout and four laps from the end he grabbed another two places to finish sixth with Razgatlioglu taking the chequered flag once more.
“This weekend we’ve seen the results of all our hard work and have harnessed all the progress made since the start of the championship,” said Ray.
“After a strong Superpole result, I was slowed down in the first two races by a drop in the front tyre, but in race two I was able to keep up with the frontrunners and score a really great result.
“This was my first time racing at Imola, but right from free practice on Friday I knew we could do well at this track, which reminds me of some British tracks. Big thanks to the whole team and all our sponsors for their support.”
Team principal Sandro Carusi added: "We’ve completed what we thought might be the most difficult weekend of all in the best possible way. Sixth place today repays all the work put in during recent rounds.
“Bradley is proving to be a real professional and I think our team is also showing significant growth.”
The result leaves Ray 17th in the standings on 19 points as the championship moves to the Czech Republic on July 28-30.