Brands Hatch is the venue for the final round of the 2022 Bennetts British Superbike Championship and RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha arrive in Kent with Bradley Ray needing just seven points from the opening race to lift the title. Teammate Kyle Ryde, buoyed by signing with the team for 2023, has his sights firmly set on his best-ever BSB finish in just his third year as a superbike rider as the curtain falls on the most successful season in the short history of RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha.
Over the previous ten rounds, Bradley Ray and Kyle Ryde have come of age in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship and their results tell the story of an impressive season. With ten wins, ten second places, and eight third places along with multiple pole positions and front row starts, not to mention new lap records at Silverstone, Oulton Park, Cadwell Park, and Donington Park, it’s been a dream season for the Cannock-based team in only their fifth season of competition.
The switch to the exceptional Yamaha R1 for 2022 was the catalyst to success as both riders immediately felt at home with the championship-winning manufacturer and with the help of Yamaha UK, Raceways Motorcycles, and McAMS Yamaha technicians early in the season, the foundation was set for a strong season and the team now arrive at Brands Hatch on the verge of clinching their first rider’s Bennetts British Superbike title after wrapping up the Team Championship at Donington Park last time out.
After his first taste of track action at Donington Park since April, the team’s road racing star James Hillier returns to action once again at Brands Hatch to contest the Pirelli National Superstock Championship race in Kent to round off his maiden season on Yamaha machinery. In the Pirelli Junior Superstock Championship, Chloe Jones is looking to finish the season on a high after a difficult debut season while Lissy Whitmore will be keen to be declared fit to race after a crash at Redgate during Qualifying for the British Junior Supersport races at Donington Park left her with a badly sprained left foot.
Along with the rest of the BSB paddock and the wider motorcycle racing community, RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha extends their deepest sympathies to the family of fellow BSB rider and podcast host Chrissy Rouse, who passed away on Thursday after an incident at Donington Park. Chrissy was undoubtedly a shining light in the paddock and will be sorely missed by all. The annual RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha Auction will take place at the RICH Club at Brands Hatch at 6.30 pm on Saturday with proceeds going to Chrissy’s family.
Brad Ray: “It’s been a long wait since Donington Park but the last weekend is finally upon us, thankfully I’ve kept busy in the meantime with plenty of training and a trip to Portugal to take in some WorldSBK action and some BTCC at Brands Hatch. We’re approaching the weekend in the same manner we have all season because there’s no reason to change that. We’ll be working hard to improve on the results we had at Brands Hatch in the summer and I’m really looking forwards to being back racing in front of my home crowd to end the season.”
Kyle Ryde: “After signing my 2023 deal at Donington Park it felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I’m looking forward to fishing the season with strong points to start the winter in a positive frame of mind. I was pleased with my results at Brands Hatch back in July and we’ll be pushing to improve on those to end the season in the best way possible.”
James Hillier: “It’s good to be back out with the team one more time before the winter sets in. We’ve had a good first season on the Yamaha R1 and R6 and we have plenty of data to work on. It’s been difficult at times after so long with another manufacturer but the potential is definitely there with the Yamaha and I’m looking forwards to the final race of the year.”
Chloe Jones: “It’s been the toughest season I’ve ever had but I’ve learned so much in that time. The Pirelli Junior Superstock class is full of good riders with lots of experience and it’s been hard to take the fight to them in just my first year on the RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha R6. We’re going to Brands Hatch to enjoy the last round and hopefully end the season on a high.”
Lissy Whitmore: “The crash at Donington Park was the biggest of my career and I’m grateful that I escaped with just an injured foot. I’m hopeful that I will be passed fit to race at Brands Hatch so I can put in a good last performance to thank the RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha team and my family for supporting me this year.”