Ryde goes ‘down under’ as new WSS adventure begins

Kyle Ryde contemplates his next adventure during testing in Australia this week. Photo/www.kyleryderacing.co.uk
Kyle Ryde contemplates his next adventure during testing in Australia this week. Photo/www.kyleryderacing.co.uk

Jacksdale’s Kyle Ryde will begin his World Supersport adventure in Australia this weekend.

The 18-year-old, who impresed in the British Supersport series in 2015, is at the Phillip Island circuit near Melbourne for the first round of the championship which takes place between Friday (26th) and Sunday.

Ryde flew out to Australia last week with his father, Sean, and has since enjoyed several productive test sessions on his Yamaha YZF-R6 which he is racing for the Italian Ranieri Med SC Racing team.

First practice saw tricky weather conditions that had hampered MotoGP riders earlier in the week clear in time for him to take to the track, with Ryde ultimately finishing in tenth place having at one point been fifth fastest. His time was just 2.2 seconds slower than the fastest set by Turkish rider Kenan Sofuoglu, who is the defending World SuperSport champion.

The second session was shortened due to a changeable weather forecast and this time Ryde was 16th quickest, ahead of his British SuperSport rival from 2015, Luke Stapleford.

Tuesday then saw Ryde step up a gear to be sixth fastest in the first session of the day, 0.811 seconds behind Sofuoglu who again was front runner.

That was followed up with Ryde again being tenth fastest in the afternoon in the tough Australian heat.

Further practice sessions will take place on Friday and Saturday and then Sunday’s race will take place between 2am and 3am UK time and be broadcast live on Eurosport in support of the World Superbikes series which also commences at the same venue.

Other British riders taking part in the series this year as well as Stapleford include Gino Rea, Kyle Smith and Stefan Hill.

Another British star, World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea, helped get Ryde his spot in the WSS Championship and has already been impressed by what he has seen.

He said: “Kyle impressed everyone last year when he finished third as a wildcard entry at Donington Park. After the race I went to him in the paddock and told him that if he ever needed a hand to do other races, he could count on me.

“We were able to assure him a seat on the Yamaha R6 in Claudio Corsetti’s team and he’s already shown here at Phillip Island what he’s capable of.

“In this sense, the Superbike paddock is similar to that of MotoGP. If you come recommended by a top rider then you are taken much more seriously.”

Following the opening weekend in Australia, the series moves to Thailand for the weekend of March 11-13 and then heads to its first European date in Spain at the beginning of April.

Ryde will be in action at his home circuit of Donington Park over the weekend of May 27-29.