MOTORCYCLING: Andy makes a handy racing return

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Returning race ace Andy Bray enjoyed a stunning start to the new Derby Phoenix MCC season at Snetterton.

The Donington motorcycle star, back after a five-year hiatus, enjoyed two wins and a second from four races in the pre-injection 600/steel-framed 600 class, leaving him second overall in the individual standings.

A trademark flying start saw Bray jump from 17th to fourth overall by the first corner of the opening race on Saturday.

He eventually dropped back to fifth,but was never troubled in the last couple of laps and cruised home to finish 14 seconds in front of the sixth-placed rider and 19 seconds clear of the next-best competitor in his class.

Starting from fifth in the next race, an unusually poor start didn’t hamper Bray as he once again made fifth place overall and sealed top spot in his class without any real competition at all – which made for a bit of a lonely ride.

A heavy frost and a covering of hail was the first sight on a cold Sunday morning – and disaster struck when Bray picked up a cracked rib in free practice.

Still, the South Holland speed demon took to the grid and again started from fifth.

He led the class all race once more and nursed his injured ribs well. But, with two laps to go he was forced to retire due to a fuel problem.

Bray’s failure to finish made for a different scenario in the Sunday’s second race however, as he was forced to start from the back of the grid.

He soon cut through the field though, placing a super second in class and eighth overall to conclude a fine racing weekend.

Bray now has three weeks’ recovery time before the club are at Cadwell Park on May 5 and 6.

• Bray’s team are looking for sponsors throughout the season to help out financially.

Anybody interested in talking to him regarding sponsorship is invited to email andy_bray43@hotmail.co.uk