Team Suzuki Press Office – September 6.
Buildbase Suzuki’s Bradley Ray is aiming to secure his place in this year’s Bennetts British Superbike Championship Showdown, with the series heading to Silverstone for round nine this weekend.
With just one round and three races remaining to decide the championship’s top-six title fighters ahead of the three-round Showdown, Ray currently sits fifth in the standings, but heads to the Northamptonshire circuit with confidence high after two podium finishes last time out at Cadwell Park. While racing for wins and podiums is the goal, the priority will be to first secure enough points to ensure he is in a position to fight for the title over the three remaining rounds.
The weekend’s three races will also take place on Silverstone’s National circuit, the 1.64 mile layout using the National start/ finish straight and Copse, before turning right onto the Wellington Straight after Maggotts and Becketts, the lap culminating in Brooklands, Luffield and the super-fast Woodcote.
“Securing the spot in the Showdown is the priority this weekend, no doubt. Of course we want to race for wins and more podiums but getting the points we need is our first aim, so I’ll be keeping my head down, trying to stay out of trouble, and get the job done as early as we can. We’re coming into the weekend off the back of a good couple of results at Cadwell though; we had good pace there, the bike was working well, I really enjoyed the races, and confidence is high in the team. Of course, I think like everyone, I’d like to be on the GP circuit, but the National circuit will present everyone with a new challenge. Lap times will be tight and the racing close, so it should make for some exciting viewing for the fans.”
His teammate in the Superbike class, Richard Cooper, has been consistently fighting inside the top-10 this season and making progress with the setup of his GSX-R1000. The aim for the former National Superstock 1000 Champion is to continue to close in on the front of the race and push for the podium battle.
“I’m keen to get going again this weekend. We had a test planned but that was rained off, so we’ve not managed to ride since Cadwell. But the guys have been working hard back at base as always, so we’ll get out in FP1 and try and build from there for the three races. We’ve got nothing to lose this weekend and will be pushing hard to achieve the best results we can, and if the weather plays a part it could play into our hands.”
Billy McConnell enjoyed a successful outing at Cadwell Park, taking another podium finish for the season and with it re-assumed the championship lead. Now entering the final third of the championship, McConnell will be aiming to continue his current form and consolidate his series lead.
“We had a good weekend at Cadwell Park and it’s good to have the championship lead back again. We’re going into the last part of the season now, so this is where it really starts to matter, and we’ve got to look to start to consolidate that lead. It won’t be easy and there’s a lot of competition out there, but we’re coming into this weekend feeling good, the bike’s working well, and I’m happy. Racing on the National layout this weekend will make for some really close racing, but hopefully we can keep our nose clean, have two good races and come away still in the lead of the championship.”