BRAD RAY MAKES HIS MARK

Performance Bikes (UK) - - SUZUKA 8 HOURS -

2018 COULD BE A ca­reer-defin­ing sea­son for Bri­tish Su­per­bike star Bradley Ray. De­spite be­ing a Red Bull Rook­ies race win­ner, he was ex­iled from the MotoGP paddock in 2014, and was in dan­ger of be­com­ing yet an­other Bri­tish tal­ent for whom the right breaks didn’t ma­te­ri­alise. His ca­reer has come full cir­cle in the last 12 months and the 21-year-old is in de­mand once again: a notable per­for­mance at Suzuka only am­pli­fied talk of Ray as be­ing a Su­per­bike star of the fu­ture.

Ray part­nered ex-WSB champ and Suzuki MotoGP test rider Syl­vain Guin­toli in the Yoshimura Suzuki ef­fort, but Ray was given the hon­our of fin­ish­ing the 8 Hours: the tra­di­tional re­ward of be­ing a team’s star turn. Hav­ing taken over from Guin­toli, fol­low­ing the French­man’s early crash, Suzuki had their work cut out for them­selves as they worked back up through the field, to an even­tual 1oth place at the flag. Ray’s speed on Bridge­stone tyres in the wet and dry im­pressed, and with Suzuki’s MotoGP pro­ject leader (and pro­ject chief for the GSX-R) Shinichi Sa­hara on hand. It was clear that Ray im­pressed the right peo­ple.

“It was very special to race at Suzuka,” said Ray. “It was a tar­get of mine all year to race there but I thought getting on a satel­lite bike was the most likely op­tion. It was mas­sive for me to be asked to ride with a fac­tory team. To be in­volved with the Ja­panese en­gi­neers and for them to trust me so much means a lot. There’s no race like Suzuka and to have the boss of Suzuki’s GP pro­ject happy with every­thing def­i­nitely doesn’t do you any harm for the fu­ture!”

‘To have Suzuki’s MotoGP boss happy with every­thing doesn’t do you any harm for the fu­ture’

Bri­tish Su­per­bikes star was hon­oured to take the fac­tory Suzuki berth

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