BSB Brands Hatch GP Race 1 Results | Bradley Ray takes 2022 BSB title, Irwin win

Bradley Ray's run to fifth in Race 1 at Brands Hatch is enough for him to clinch the 2022 British Superbike Champion (BSB) with OMG Racing 

Bradley Ray - RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha

Bradley Ray and his RICH Energy OMG Racing team have been crowned 2022 British Superbike Champions (BSB) with two races to spare after a focused run to fifth in Race 1.

The Kent rider came into the season finale at his home Brands Hatch GP circuit as the odds-on favourite to secure a maiden title win after opening up a vast 66 point lead over Glenn Irwin, meaning he needed only a seventh place finish to complete the inevitable.

In the end a cautious performance was enough for Ray to get a precious 11 points for fifth place, putting the championship out of Irwin and Tommy Bridewell’s reach as the two riders left standing to potentially deny the 25-year old.

The race itself was won by Irwin, who kept his end of the bargain to keep the title race alive for another day with a dominant victory from pole position, his first since his triple race winning burst out of the blocks at the Silverstone opener.

Indeed, it was a textbook performance for the Ulsterman in a season that started spectacularly but had begun to wane coming into the Showdown, only for it to pick up again in the latter rounds as he took hold of the mantle as Ray’s nearest challenger.

In reality, however, while Irwin was Ray’s closest title rival, he wasn’t at all close with his faint hopes ultimately resting on the performance of the Yamaha rider rather than his own.

It meant all eyes were all on Ray - starting a potentially vulnerable sixth on the grid - as he stared down the 16 laps that separated him from glory. After surviving the clamour for space into Turn 1 by climbing to fifth, Ray then dispatched team-mate Kyle Ryde for fourth place on lap two.

Retaining a watching brief of a front pack consisting Irwin, his brother Andrew Irwin and Peter Hickman, Ray might have targeted the podium had his Yamaha not attempted to rebel against him with a slide that caused the R1 to shake its head coming onto the home stretch on Lap 3. It was a moment that led the front three riders ahead to escape, with a seemingly content Ray heeding his warning by circulating a safe fourth.

Fortunately for him he didn't have much of a threat from behind either after the top ten fractured into spread out battles, though Ray would be reeled in and overtaken by Bridewell with two laps remaining.

Nevertheless, fifth place was more than enough for Ray to seal the title with two races to spare.

Bradley Ray's BSB moment finally comes

Only the second time he has featured in the BSB Title Showdown since his debut in 2017 [achieved in 2018] Ray’s metronomic consistency of 18.5 points average per race and calm front-running pace has triumphed where his better fancied rivals have struggled.

Similarly, this title represents a landmark for RICH Energy OMG Racing as an independent effort using 2021 machinery, though it is known to have a sizeable private budget and ties with the Yamaha factory to be considered something of a de facto works effort.

Even so, its been a steady route to the top for the ambitious outfit, which made its BSB debut in 2018 with Suzuki machinery.

Indeed, this has been OMG Racing’s first campaign using the Yamaha R1 - the same as those that won the 2021 title with McAMS - after swapping from BMW machinery over the winter, with Ray and team-mate Kyle Ryde both earning the team its first-ever Title Showdown spots this season.

Though it has won a race with its Suzuki entries before, OMG Racing has multiplied its trophy tally with ten wins achieved between Ray and Kyle Ryde, while this is the first season the outfit has featured in the BSB Title Showdown.

Glenn Irwin strengthens BSB runner-up bid

Despite having his title hopes dashed, Irwin improved his chances of securing what would be a personal best runners-up spot in the standings with the seventh win of his BSB career on what is expected to be his final race weekend with Honda Racing.

Behind him, Peter Hickman prevailed in an entertaining battle with fellow BMW rider Andrew Irwin, the nine-time Isle of Man TT winner’s third podium of the year seeing him move clear of Danny Buchan in their fight for the BSB Riders’ Cup (ninth place overall) having started the race equal on points.

Irwin completed his third podium of the year on the Synetiq BMW, ahead of Bridewell, who was forced to fight back from a poor start that dropped him from third to seventh initially before clawing his way back to fourth.

Behind Ray, his former title rival Jason O’Halloran was a distant sixth on the sole McAMS Yamaha, ahead of Buchan in seventh and Danny Kent in eighth, the Buildbase Suzuki rider's best result of the year.

Ryde and Tom Sykes completed the top ten, with Charlie Nesbitt, Josh Owens and Takumi Takahashi finishing 11th, 12th and 13th, while Jack Kennedy on the Mar-Train Yamaha and Davey Todd on the Padgetts Honda scored BSB points in their guest outings with 14th and 15th.

Elsewhere, Lee Jackson’s hopes of challenging for the runners-up spot look to be over after clipping Josh Brookes and crashing heavily at Paddock Hill Bend on the opening lap, putting both the FS-3 Kawasaki and MCE Ducati rider out.

2022 British Superbike Championship | Brands Hatch | Race 1 RESULTS | Round 11 / 11 [TS 3 / 3]
PosRiderNat.WorldSBK TeamSuperbikeTiming
1Glenn IrwinGBRHonda RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R16 Laps
2Peter HickmanGBRFHO RacingBMW M 1000 RR+1.374
3Andrew IrwinGBRSynetiq BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR+1.808
4Tommy BridewellGBROxford RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+5.105
5Bradley RayGBRRICH OMG RacingYamaha R1+5.524
6Jason O'HalloranAUSMcAMS YamahaYamaha R1+7.743
7Danny BuchanGBRSynetiq BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR+9.895
8Danny KentGBRBuildbase SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R1000R+13.358
9Kyle RydeGBRRICH OMG RacingYamaha R1+13.547
10Tom SykesGBRMCE DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+14.465
11Charlie NesbittGBRBuildbase SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R1000R+15.715
12Josh OwensGBRRapid CDH RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+18.663
13Takumi TakahashiJPNHonda RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R+24.193
14Jack KennedyIRLMar-Train RacingYamaha R1+27.815
15Davey ToddGBRMilenco by PadgettsHonda CBR1000RR-R+30.060
16Dean HarrisonGBRDAO RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+30.390
17Storm StaceyGBRLKQ Euro Car PartsKawasaki ZX-10RR+32.713
18Leon JeacockGBRSpecsavers SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R1000R+44.110
19Eemeli LahtiFINPowerslide RacingSuzuki GSX-R1000R+46.895
20Liam DelvesGBRRapid CDH RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+1 Lap
21Christian IddonGBRBuildbase SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R1000R+1 Lap
22Ryan VickersGBRFHO RacingBMW M 1000 RR+1 Lap
DNFLeon HaslamGBRVisionTrack KawasakiKawasaki ZX-10RR 
DNFRyo MizunoJPNHonda RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R 
DNFJosh BrookesAUSMCE DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R 
DNFLee JacksonGBRFS-3 RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR 
DNFTom NeaveGBRHonda RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R