Bradley Ray Stays With Buildbase Suzuki For The 2019 BSB Series

The British Superbike grid is being confirmed for next year, as Bradley Ray stays with Buildbase Suzuki for the 2019 BSB series. The 21-year-old rider from Kent has taken two race wins to secure a place in the end-of-season Showdown in 2018. And it means he will stay with the team, and the Suzuki GSX-R1000, for a third year in a row.

Bradley Ray Stays With Buildbase Suzuki For The 2019 BSB Series

It’s been a mixed season for the Lydd-based rider with two wins at the opening British Superbike round at Donington. He’s racked up three more podiums, but suffered some non-finishes in the middle of the season. Currently sixth in the standings going into the triple-race final weekend at Brands Hatch, Ray can at least focus on the track action knowing his place is secure for 2019.

Bradley Ray Stays With Buildbase Suzuki For The 2019 BSB Series

Ray made his debut in the British Superbike class with Buildbase Suzuki, taking a podium in his first year. It followed several seasons in the MotoGP Rookies Cup, British MotoStar championship, and in the CEV Moto3 series. In 2016 he took third in the British Supersport championship before moving to the top national class.

Bradley Ray Stays With Buildbase Suzuki For The 2019 BSB Series

2018 saw Ray take part in the Suzuka 8-Hour race with Yoshimura Suzuki. And the team were able to recover to 10th overall, after dropping to 48th due to a crash. He also appeared as a wildcard for his first outing in World Superbikes at Donington Park, taking 14th and 15 place finishes.

Bradley Ray Stays With Buildbase Suzuki For The 2019 BSB Series

Bradley Ray said, “I’m really happy to be staying with the team and with Suzuki for another year. I’ve got a great relationship with everyone and we enjoy working together, and that should only give us a head-start next season. This year was only my second year on a superbike and the second year of development for the new GSX-R, and we’ve won races, been on the podium, and made it into the Showdown, so we can only be happy with that, and I’m confident that will continue next season. It was good to have everything signed and agreed nice and early. We’ve now got one round to go and I can focus on my riding and to try to finish the season strongly at Brands.”

Bradley Ray Stays With Buildbase Suzuki For The 2019 BSB Series

Buildbase Suzuki team manager, Steve Hicken, added, “Continuing our association with Bradley next season is really important for us. Like many, we recognised his talent early on, and when he was in the supersport class two years ago we wanted to get him onto a superbike as soon as possible. He’s one of the most natural young talents in the country, so of course we’re really excited to be able to announce that he’ll again be on a Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000R for a third season in 2019. While we’ve got one round to go and are aiming to finish the season strongly, having everything signed and confirmed means we’ll be going into the winter with a clear focus on building for a title assault next year.”

Bradley Ray Stays With Buildbase Suzuki For The 2019 BSB Series

The full line-up for Buildbase Suzuki in 2019 hasn’t been confirmed yet. Current team-mate Richard Cooper is making his debut at the Sunflower Trophy at Bishopscourt in Northern Ireland this year for the team. The races traditionally end the Irish season, and occur on the weekend following the end of the British Superbike season.

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Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day

You never know who might turn up for a quick blast at a track day. As demonstrated when former Grand Prix and World Superbike legends Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi ride at an Aprilia track day along with the regular attendees. It happened at one of the Aprilia Racers Days 2018 events, with the 16th date of the calendar taking place at Mugello in Italy. So you can imagine the Noale-based motorcycle manufacturer invited the two stars along.

Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day

Capirossi is currently the Safety Advisor to Dorna Sports for MotoGP. He won two 125cc GP titles, and a 250cc world championship with Aprilia in 1998 before switching to the 500cc class, and then MotoGP until his retirement in 2011. Now 45 years old, he was joined by Max Biaggi, who he often raced against. Biaggi dominated the 250 world championship from 1994 to 1997, taking four titles, and three of those were on an Aprilia. He arrived in the top class in 1998, and competed until 2005 before switching to World Superbikes. Riding again for Aprilia he took two WSB titles in 2010 and 2012, before ending his competitive international career in 2015.

Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day Capirossi Pits

The former GP rivals were riding at Mugello on both an Aprilia RSV4 RF and an RSV4 which had been fitted with a Factory Works kit and then tuned by Aprilia Racing. So the normal track day riders had a bit of an excuse when their lap times didn’t quite match up.

Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day - Biaggi Action

In addition to enjoying the Mugello track, the pair also chatted with riders and fans. Along with photo opportunities, they were able to suggest bike set-up advice and how to set a good time around the circuit.

Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day - Biaggi Cornering

Max Biaggi: “Fantastic! Of course, the things we did when we were racing cannot be repeated, but with this bike you really go fast and Loris still has his style, so it was like taking a ride down memory lane. This RSV4 is a bike made for the track. It felt like I was back on my SBK. You really go fast and it is a lot of fun. An experience to repeat.”

Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day - Capirossi Action

Loris Capirossi: “Having the track all to ourselves and precisely here at Mugello was an emotional experience. As always, Max never gives in and he really opens up the throttle. I enjoyed the RSV4 very much, especially in the Factory Works version. At Mugello, power and torque count for a lot and I truly had a lot of fun.”

Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day - Max Biaggi

The Aprilia Racers Days take place throughout the year, and allow enthusiasts to test the top models in the Aprilia RSV4 RF and Tuono V4 1100 Factory ranges. The ‘season’ takes place on 18 dates at a variety of top tracks in Italy, including Imola, Vallelunga, Misano and Mugello. Although this particular event was the 16th, and the calendar is winding down, apparently Biaggi and Capirossi have already promised to return in 2019.

Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day - Pits

Given the fact that two top Italian rivals were on track, perhaps the biggest surprise was the lack of incidents on track. But you never know who might turn up on your next track day, and it’s best not to underestimate a pair of Italians in their mid-to-late 40s if you happen to see them rock up on some Aprilias…

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