Teenage ace Ryde remains in hunt for British Supersport title

RYDE IN THE PARK -- Kyle Ryde leads the pack in Sunday's feature race at Cadwell Park. (PHOTO BY: Polarity Photography).
RYDE IN THE PARK -- Kyle Ryde leads the pack in Sunday's feature race at Cadwell Park. (PHOTO BY: Polarity Photography).

Champion teenage motorcyclist Kyle Ryde remains second in the standings after another solid round in the British Supersport Championship.

The 18-year-old Ryde, who hails from Derbyshire but is now based at Jacksdale, tackled the eighth round of the championship at the scenic Cadwell Park track in Lincolnshire, close to the seaside resorts of Skegness and Mablethorpe.

And in the feature 16-lap race of the weekend, he finished a well-deserved third on his Yamaha, just half a second down on the winner, Jake Dixon, and only a whisker behind second-placed Luke Stapleford, who is also based in the East Midlands.

It left Ryde 37 points behind leader Stapleford in the overall standings, with four rounds to go -- at Oulton Park on September 4-6, at Assen in the Netherlands on September 18-20, at Silverstone on October 2-4 and then the finale at Brands Hatch on October 16-18.

Ryde, who already has two major British Championships under his belt -- the 125cc title in 2011 and the Superstock 600 title in 2014 -- races for the Pacedayz European Trackdays team in the Supersport.

The championship is regarded as the support series to the British Superbikes Championship and a stepping stone for all the younger talent in the country.

The Jacksdale star arrived at Cadwell Park on the back of a string of consistent performances since the season got under way at Donington Park in April.

Friday’s practice session was a testing time as he ended up in a lower-than-normal sixth place after the first two sessions. But once a few changes had been made to his machine, he achieved an excellent third on the grid for the Saturday afternoon sprint race.

Ryde got off to a bad start in the race and by the end of the first lap, he was lingering off the leading pack. Luckily for him, though, it had to be stopped and re-started after several fallers and a machine blow-up led to the red flag being waved.

In the new race, top gun Stapleford led almost all the way. But Ryde piled on the pressure, trying everything in his power to move ahead and ending up in a secure second place, even though his feathers were ruffled a few times by American champion James Rispoli.

The 18-year-old local was always in close contention in Sunday’s main race too. He powered his bike to the front on the second lap before losing the advantage to Jake Dixon on lap eight, with Stapleford progressing into third.

Ryde regained the lead on lap 13, but was powerless to halt the surge of Stapleford, whose mighty Triumph swooped to the front. Then Dixon decided he still wanted a piece of the action and edged ahead of both rivals before the chequered flag.