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Mother Nature worked her magic in Norfolk last weekend as the first R&G Racing Bennetts British Superbike Championship Test of 2022 got underway at Snetterton. The RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha team made their UK debut on their Yamaha R1 superbikes after a successful test in Spain before Christmas and the Cartagena form continued in the bright sunshine around the 300 layout.

Friday morning was spent fine-tuning the Yamaha R1 machinery for Brad Ray and Kyle Ryde while the

team’s sole Road Racing representative, James Hillier, worked through a test plan in the absence of teammate Davo Johnson, who will leave Australia to join up with the team in the next few days. Lady riders Chloe Jones and Lissy Whitmore also made their full team debuts as they got to grips with their Yamaha R6 and Yamaha R3, respectively.

Brad Ray continued his feeling with the Yamaha R1, posting the second-fastest time of the session after just a handful of laps while Kyle Ryde took his time getting dialled in after the winter break. Both riders are working with new Crew Chiefs for 2022 and the team is already seeing a positive effect on both sides of the garage which bodes very well for the new season.

Saturday brought more of the same sunshine and the great addition of the BSB fans into the circuit to get their first glimpse of the year of the 2022 BSB and support class line-ups. In the morning session it was as you were for Brad Ray, second-fastest once again while Kyle Ryde closed the gap to just over a second. Changes were made to both of the Yamaha R1s but to no avail – this is what testing is for, right? – and with settings returned for the third and final session of the day, Brad ended 4th fastest and Kyle 9th, just 0.950s shy of the fastest time.

Sunday morning mist and low temperatures left many teams in the relative warmth of the garage, waiting for the greyness to burn away and burn away it did to return to the glorious weather of Friday and Saturday. A technical issue beyond the team and rider’s control meant that unfortunately, Kyle Ryde’s weekend finished early, leaving Brad to fly the black and gold flag for the team. Finishing the fifth session 2nd fastest once again, the Kent rider’s consistency was becoming obvious before the final session of the weekend. A stunning final lap of 1:46.669s saw him lead the session for just 0.3s before Jason O’Halloran pipped him by just 0.098s as the flag dropped on a successful weekend for the team. Despite the limited laps for Kyle, the Nottinghamshire man posted his best-ever time around the 300 circuit and knows there is more to come from both himself and his Yamaha R1.

James Hillier was satisfied with his work across the weekend as his Road Racing crew joined him for the first time. Working on a succession of different configurations ahead of the road racing season, the Hampshire rider, his mechanic, and suspension technician made a huge effort to complete the workload required, leaving the test in good spirits for the remaining tests.

Chloe Jones got valuable laps under her belt as she steps up to the National Junior Superstock class for 2022. The Daventry rider, working alongside a full-time mechanic, made excellent progress in reducing her lap times and getting comfortable on her Yamaha R6. Sharing the floorspace and mechanic, Lissy Whitmore made her full-season debut for RICH Energy OMG Racing aboard her Yamaha R3 British Junior Supersport machine. Hailing from Bourne in Lincs., Lissy worked hard to through her testing plan and, like Chloe, made solid progress across the weekend and made the most of referencing fellow lady riders.

The team departed Norfolk in a buoyant mood ahead of the second Bennetts British Superbike test at Donington Park this coming Thursday, 31st March.

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