Buildbase Suzuki and British Superbikes title contender Bradley Ray will race as a wildcard at Donington WSB this weekend. And it will also be the debut for the new 2018 Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the World Superbike Championship.
Ray is currently second in the British Superbikes championship, just 14 points behind current leader Leon Haslam. He led the title chase earlier in the season, having started with a double victory at Donington Park. So the 21-year-old from Lydd in Kent could well get some decent results. He did actually race at the British round of the Moto 2 championship back in 2015 as the lone FTR machine on the grid. So combined with experience racing in the Red Bull Rookies and CEV, he’s no stranger to competing against a high standard of international talent.
He will be up against some tough competition in the WSB series. It’s dominated by British riders including Chaz Davies, Tom Sykes, and the incredibly successful and dominant Jonathan Rea. Rea is currently looking to become the most successful World Superbike rider of all-time.
It’s the second wildcard appearance for a British Superbike rider in the WSB championship in two races. Leon Haslam was drafted into the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team for the previous round at Imola. Haslam finished in ninth in the first race, and 16th in race two. In 2017, the race wins at the PATA UK round went to Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea.
It’s also a good way for Bradley Ray to stay race-sharp as the British Superbikes championship doesn’t continue until the Snetterton Round on June 15-17th, 2018. The series held a test session at the Norfolk circuit earlier this week which ended with Ray second behind Luke Mossey by just 0.005 seconds. Sadly the test was marred by serious injuries for Shane Byrne after an accident.
Bradley Ray, “It’s going to be good for us to have a run out at the World Superbike round. It’s more track time and a chance to get some more miles under our belts, but also a chance for us to show our potential against some of the world’s best. The bike will be as we race it in the British championship, as that’s ultimately the bike we race every other weekend and the bike we want to develop and improve, but we should be able to give a good account of ourselves while improving our package further for when we return to British Superbike action. But of course, I’m looking forward to showing what we can do.“
Buildbase Suzuki Team manager, Steve Hicken, “We’re looking forward to making an appearance in the World Superbike Championship. Hopefully we’ll have a few good practice sessions and then get to showcase Brad’s, the team’s, and the GSX-R1000’s potential on the world stage, coming away with two strong results. We’re up against stiff competition but it’ll be a good weekend for us to learn even more. It’s more bike time for Brad and more track time for us to continue developing and improving things for when we head to Snetterton in June and return to the British Superbike Championship.”
How do you think Bradley and the new Suzuki will perform in WSB? Got any predictions for the two main races? Let us know in the comments…