BSB Donington Park Race 3 Results [TS 2/3] | Ray puts one hand on title with win

Bradley Ray wins Race 3 at Donington Park to put himself on the cusp of clinching the 2022 British Superbike Championship (BSB) title at Brands Hatch finale

Bradley Ray - OMG Yamaha

Bradley Ray stands on the verge of being crowned 2022 British Superbike Champion (BSB) after a timely ninth victory of the season in Race 3 at Donington Park stretched his points lead out to an almost insurmountable margin.

His second win of the Title Showdown, the RICH Energy OMG Yamaha rider heads to the Brands Hatch finale later this month as the odd-on favourite to secure the crown having extended his margin out to 66 points over Glenn Irwin, while Tommy Bridewell - the only other rider still in with a mathematical chance of denying him - is 67 points adrift.

Indeed, with a maximum of 75 points available from the three races, a fifth place finish in any one of the encounters will be enough for Ray to be crowned champion.

Having played second fiddle to Tom Sykes in Race 2, Ray’s success in Race 3 will come with a healthy dose of satisfaction after being made to work hard for victory by numerous rivals in what was the scrappiest of the weekend's outings.

While a red flag on lap two - caused by an accident for Chrissy Rouse - led to a brief hiatus, double race winner Sykes started as he looked to go on at the restart by grabbing the lead initially, followed up by a feisty Jason O’Halloran and Ray.

However, while Sykes was able to stretch the field out with some rapid pace in Race 1 and 2, this time he found his hands full of Ray, O’Halloran and the Irwin brothers.

Sensing his opportunity on lap four, Ray grabbed the lead from Sykes into the Old Hairpin, with Irwin following through into second by Lap 5 after some entertaining switchbacks with the 2013 WorldSBK Champion.

With Sykes looking vulnerable as Ray and Irwin pulled away, he came under attack from O’Halloran on Lap 6. However, the McAMS Yamaha would get unsettled on the bumps as he hit the brakes, the Australian unable to calm the R1 down before it thumped into the side of Sykes' MCE Ducati.

A heavy impact that sent O’Halloran spiralling into an awkward and lofty high-side, the incident put both out of the race and the erstwhile title contender needing medical attention for the third  time in little more than a week following his huge crashes at Oulton Park last weekend.

With the safety car deployed to neutralise the race - and wipe out the leaders’ gap to the chasing pack - it came moments after Irwin had relieved Ray of the lead at the start of Lap 7.

Going green once more on Lap 9 with Irwin cheekily taking a wide, slow line around the final corner to baulk his rivals before accelerating away, Irwin soon had Ray again for company, though this time he had brought Andrew Irwin with him, the trio breaking away into a lead group.

With Ray pouncing back on Irwin at the Old Hairpin on Lap 10, the Honda man returned the favour at Esses on Lap 11 in what appeared to be a definitive pass as he began to put some air between himself and his rival.

However, Irwin’s hopes of victory would be dashed four laps from home when he ran wide at the Melbourne hairpin, allowing both Ray and his brother through.

Looking down at the side of his bike, it became apparent that the Ulsterman had snapped one of his footpegs, forcing him to complete the race with his boot resting on the exhaust for balance.

With Irwin out of the picture, Ray promptly got the hammer down to gap Andrew Irwin, reeling off a series of quick laps to reach the chequered flag 2.2secs clear of the Synetiq BMW rider, who nonetheless scored his best result of the year in second.

Having been caught and passed by Bridewell on the penultimate lap, a mistake by the Oxford Ducati rider at Coppice allowed a dogged Irwin back through for a richly deserved third, with his title rival in fourth.

It means Irwin leapfrogs Bridewell to take up the chase to Ray, though he will require nothing less than a repeat of the triple win he achieved at the Silverstone opener to have a chance of glory… and even then Ray would have to likely DNF from all three too.

Danny Buchan completed the top five ahead of Kyle Ryde in sixth, with Lee Jackson - who was dumped outside the top ten at one stage after contact with Peter Hickman - officially out of the title race after coming home in seventh.

Ryan Vickers, Danny Kent and Leon Haslam completed the top ten.

2022 British Superbike Championship | Donington Park | Race 3 RESULTS

2022 British Superbike Championship | Donington Park | Race 3 RESULTS | Round 10 / 11 [TS 2 / 3]
PosRiderNat.WorldSBK TeamSuperbikeTiming
1Bradley RayGBRRICH OMG RacingYamaha R118 Laps
2Andrew IrwinGBRSynetiq BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR+2.226
3Glenn IrwinGBRHonda RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R+2.628
4Tommy BridewellGBROxford RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+3.065
5Danny BuchanGBRSynetiq BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR+4.020
6Kyle RydeGBRRICH OMG RacingYamaha R1+6.068
7Lee JacksonGBRFS-3 RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+6.522
8Ryan VickersGBRFHO RacingBMW M 1000 RR+6.906
9Danny KentGBRBuildbase SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R1000R+7.162
10Leon HaslamGBRVisionTrack KawasakiKawasaki ZX-10RR+7.536
11Peter HickmanGBRFHO RacingBMW M 1000 RR+11.457
12Storm StaceyGBRLKQ Euro Car PartsKawasaki ZX-10RR+14.315
13Charlie NesbittGBRBuildbase SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R1000R+14.588
14Tom NeaveGBRHonda RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R+14.851
15Takumi TakahashiJPNHonda RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R+18.140
16Josh BrookesAUSMCE DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+21.147
17Jack KennedyIRLMar-Train RacingYamaha R1+28.440
18Leon JeacockGBRSpecsavers SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R1000R"+32.671
19Josh OwensGBRRapid CDH RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+33.352
20Ryo MizunoJPNHonda RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R+36.547
21Eemeli LahtiFINPowerslide RacingSuzuki GSX-R1000R+37.017
DNFDean HarrisonGBRDAO RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR 
DNFTom SykesGBRMCE DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R 
DNFJason O'HalloranAUSMcAMS YamahaYamaha R1 
DNSLuke MosseyGBRiForce Bowker PR RacingBMW M 1000 RR 
DNSChrissy RouseGBRCrowe PerformanceBMW M 1000 RR 
DNSLiam DelvesGBRRapid CDH RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR