Points for Ryde in France as Kawasaki switch pays off

Kyle Ryde in action at Magny-Cours. Photo: mpafoto.com
Kyle Ryde in action at Magny-Cours. Photo: mpafoto.com
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Jacksdale racer Kyle Ryde’s improving fortunes continued last weekend as he just missed out on a top ten finish at Magny-Cours in France in the Word Supersport series.

Ryde has been steadily making progress with his new team Schmidt Racing since signing earlier in the summer, with their exploits in France the best showing yet.

It was the second round in which Ryde and his team were using the Kawasaki ZX 6R, having debuted it at the Lausitzring in Germany in the previous round.

Since then the technicians and Ryde have been working hard to overcome technical issues and to build confidence with their new bike, the result being a continued improvement in performances.

After opening practice sessions that saw Ryde timed 23rd and then 18th fastest, he faced cold and wet conditions for Superpole1 on Saturday.

The wet track didn’t help him and although he improved his lap time by five seconds, he could only achieve 17th place on the grid, meaning a start from the ninth row for the 19-lap race.

Sunday’s race took place in sunshine and Ryde made a quick start which saw him quickly move up to 15th place.

He maintained a fast pace and gained two more places amidst a group of four riders frequently exchanging positions.

In the final stages, Ryde powered through and was able to finish in 11th position, in the process earning the first points for Schmidt Racing with the Kawasaki.

Ryde said: “It was a good race. I was having a good first lap but then Alessandro Zaccone crashed in front of me causing me to run off track and lose position.

“If it wasn’t for that, I think I could have been up there with Kyle Smith in the top seven but Lorenzo Zanetti passed me and I couldn’t pass back.

“The important thing is that we scored some points. The bike was the best it’s been all weekend but I chose a tyre that was too soft.

“Anyway, I’m pleased I tried the new setting today – it was a gamble but I feel we’ve taken a big step in the right direction, and now the bike should be better for Jerez, a track that I really love.”

Team manager Robert Balogh added: “I’m really pleased with today’s race, which comes at the end of a difficult weekend.

“The bike worked really well, the team did a great job and our riders are doing really well too.

“We’ve earned some points and this is the important thing, which proves we did the right thing moving to Kawasaki. Now we can look to the future with confidence, starting from the very next race at Jerez”.

There are just two rounds remaining in the World Supersport series this season, beginning with Jerez in Spain on the weekend of October 14-16 before the series closes in the heat of Qatar at the end of the month.