"I can’t wait, I’m feeling good and I’ve been training hard!" – Ray relishes Aragon test

Tuesday, 21 March 2023 10:32 GMT

The reigning BSB champion and a big-name rookie coming into 2023, Aragon awaits Bradley Ray for his second test of the year

An all-important test at the MotorLand Aragon circuit near Alcaniz in Spain is calling the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship and whilst the Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK and Team HRC are heading there after two rounds of action, the pre-season isn’t over for one rookie in 2023. Bradley Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) will be competing in the European rounds of the season, which is all of the remaining rounds with the exception of the final round in Argentina and takes to the Aragon circuit in search of continuing his adaptation to the WorldSBK-spec YZF-R1.

Ray only has a year of experience on the R1 model, but it was all that was required as he stormed to the 2022 British Superbike title for OMG Racing – also in their first year with the bike. With nine wins (including a streak of four in a row across the races at Snetterton and Race 1 at Oulton Park) and 23 podiums (including a streak of 11 from Thruxton to Oulton Park), Ray earnt a place on the WorldSBK grid for 2023. Having completed a test already at Portimao, Ray has a base-setting, even if Aragon is quite the contrast to the extreme undulations in the Algarve.

Speaking ahead of the test at Aragon, Ray was keen to get back on track with the team: “I am really looking forward to getting back with the Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team for some more testing. We have two days in Aragon and two days in Catalunya and I can’t wait. We have got a lot of work to do in terms of getting myself more comfortable and up to speed, as all the other riders have already completed two rounds, so we need to work hard over these four days so that we can head into round three at Assen ready to fight. I’m feeling really good in myself and have been training hard, so I’m excited to get riding and back to work.”

The Motoxracing outfit have plenty of experience at MotorLand Aragon too, with the pre-season test of 2022 taking place there, as well as one round of experience there. This means that they’ll be able to help guide Ray as he learns the circuit, using the expertise and knowledge from years gone by as reference points.

Team boss Sandro Carusi stated that the team hadn’t rested since Portimao, and that the Aragon test – and the Barcelona test in just over a week’s time – will be vital to see if they’re efforts have paid dividends: “The tests at Aragon and Barcelona will be important for our team and for Bradley. After the Portimao test sessions in February, we have worked on the bike back at base and it is now time to see whether our work has paid off. We’re all highly motivated and want to be ready and competitive for the April round at Assen.”

Follow the test across WorldSBK’s social media whilst readying for Brad Ray’s debut at Assen with the WorldSBK VideoPass!