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OMG Racing shine at Brands Hatch to end first season on a high

Despite the miserable weather that brought the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike season to a close, it was a bright end to the year for the all-new OMG Racing Suzuki team as they took a brace of top tens on Sunday and a double point-scoring finish on Saturday. The team have definitely turned a corner in the final third of the season and now look like challengers in the championship, with both Gino Rea and Josh Elliott making great progress and scoring points at the historic Kent venue.

Home-favourite Gino Rea returned to Brands Hatch with the ambition of achieving his pace from Assen, when he topped sessions. Gino looked good all the way through the weekend and has become a Q2 regular in his first season of Superbike Racing, which is an achievement in itself. Having qualified just half a second from the top six, Gino worked his way up to 13th in race one, close to former BSB race winner Luke Mossey.

On Sunday, conditions turned nasty and the rain came. But for Gino Rea, that was no problem; the Londoner being known for his prowess in the hardest of conditions. Starting from 15th, Rea worked his way inside the top eight before being caught out on the exit of Clearways and crashing out in dramatic fashion In race three, Gino bounced back in the best way possible, matching his best result of the season with a 7th place!

#GinoRea44

“It is definitely nice to finish the season on a high after a couple of disappointing end results from the last two rounds. We had potential for top six in race two here at Brands Hatch, whilst also having a top eight potential in the dry at Assen.

“We had good pace in race three and I slotted in nicely behind Josh Brookes and I felt good behind him. He started getting faster and faster and we did start to close the gap to Leon Haslam and Christian Iddon. I started thinking that we may be on for a top five, but after the crash in race two, I thought that it’d be better if I just brought the bike home and ended the year on a high.

“From the outside, it is easy for people to just look at my capabilities and where I’ve come from and to look down at us, but the people who know can see that we are starting to come good. BSB is one of the toughest championships in the world, the tracks are some of the toughest in the world and the bikes are also extremely difficult too. I think we’ve had a decent first year and a strong second half to the year. One of the highlights of the year has to be that I actually topped a session on outright pace at Assen. In my debut season and the team’s debut season, it is something to be proud of.

“There’s been a great atmosphere in the team all year, they wanted to be different and quirky and it’s been brilliant to have that in the paddock. You need to have a professional and serious nature too, so it all about finding the balance for that and OMG Racing have done just that. They’ve done a great job in branding themselves, something that BSB fans are really getting behind! The black and luminous orange as well as the black and luminous yellow makes us stand out along with great merchandise, pillion rides and the FlyOMG event. Everything has been special this year.”

Josh Elliott was back on the OMG Racing Superbike and was out to prove a point at the final round of the season. The Ulsterman and former National Superstock 1000 champion qualified 19th and only just missed out on being seeded into Q2. In the opening race of the weekend, he was pushed off track by another riders crash and that put him right towards the end of the field. Elliott grit his teeth and put in a dazzling display of riding on the limit and, keeping a cool head, placed 15th for his first BSB points of the year.

On Sunday, Elliott started race two from P20 and put in yet another good ride. One by one, he picked off the opposition and broke into the top ten, finishing in 10th overall. Race three was looking like yet another fantastic ride but unfortunately, a small crash at Surtees corner ended his solid run.

#JoshElliott10

“We really have ended the season on a high. To have stepped on the bike at Assen and to then be in the top ten a round later is amazing, as are getting the points! We crashed out of the last race of the season whilst also battling for top tens, and that is something that I was always happy with – not the crashing part! We have been getting faster and faster each session and I’ve also learnt so much in that time too. The highlight of the year has to be the Thruxton race and giving the team their first win and maybe even today, getting a top ten on a Superbike is a major achievement.

“Finding the limitations of the tyres has been something that I’ve had to get used to, as the edge grip is completely different compared to the Superstock 1000 tyres. Different electronics, engine braking and fuel maps have all had to be learned by me too, so it really has been a big learning curve. I can’t thank the team enough for their efforts and time they’ve spent with me and for also giving me a chance on the Superbike.”

Team principal Paul Curran hoped for stable weather through the weekend but unfortunately that was not the case. However, the former racer was impressed with both bikes and how the team has finished the year, especially whilst taking on the challenge of a two-Superbike set up.

Paul Curran, Team Principal

“Results wise, we have had a good weekend. It is a shame that Gino crashed in the opening race of Sunday’s schedule but all in all, it’s been a positive weekend. Josh had been in the running for a good result too but unfortunately he had a small tip-off. We’ve ended the year on a high and with Gino’s best result.

“There was no expectation from Josh at all, he wants to be in the main Superbike class and we needed to find out the issues with running two bikes for ourselves, so it worked for both parties.

“The whole team has done a great job this weekend and in fact the entire year, and I really cannot thank them enough for that. It has been a roller-coaster but a memorable one and there’s plenty more still to come!”

 

Crew chief Ray Stringer reviewed his first season with the team stating that whilst results may not have been what he hoped, the achievements of the new team and new riders have been very worthy indeed. With both bikes looking like top ten packages, Stringer heads into the off-season relatively happy.

Ray Stringer, Crew Chief

Truthfully, we’ve not achieved the results we had all hoped for but we do need to keep reminding ourselves that this is a new team and a new rider who has found his feet. It has only taken him a season, whereas with other riders in this paddock, it has taken them one or two seasons and a bit of class-switching too.

Both bikes are looking like top ten packages now and it shows in the results and probably across the weekend, we’ve been the most consistent Suzuki team. Brands Hatch has been eventful and a bit harder than we had hoped because of the mechanical issues and crashes, but that is part of racing and you have to just get on with the job.

Things could’ve gone a bit better for Josh and he may well have been higher up but he’s learnt a lot, done himself and the team proud and he and the bike are in one bit(ish)!”

 

Greg McPhail – the ‘M’ of OMG summed up the team’s first season from an owner’s point of view. Having set up the team a year ago it has been a whirlwind first year for the outfit; with plenty of action and drama all the way from the lights out to the final chequered flag.

OMG Racing UK (Greg McPhail)

“It’s been a rollercoaster pretty much since the end of last season when we all came and sat down to put the team together. It was then a frantic rush to put the team and infrastructure together and prepare for our first year, but we’ve done it.

“The season started cold and wet and it has finished cold and wet but we have been smiling at both ends, despite it being up and down along the way. We’ve had some fantastic results and have enjoyed our first year; it’s been a big learning curve.

“I had no real aspiration of positions but we knew we had a great package, with the team and the riders. Josh has been an awful lot of experience to the team with his previous championship victory, and that has helped a lot. You look at Gino’s results this year and there’s been an upwards trend and, considering he’s had to learn so many new things, it’s been a very impressive season.

“We’ve come in with a big and bold approach, wanting to be loud and proud and be very different. The #FlyOMG event was a great day for everyone and we’ve had some fantastic feedback from that. From that event alone, I think it is clear to see that we are doing things in a different way. Everyone is already talking about us in the stands and once we are up front on the track, we’ll be achieving our ambitions on both sides.

“In 2019, I hope to continue having fun and winning races but this time, we will do it even better. Any team in the paddock will recognise that what we’ve done in just our first year is pretty phenomenal and next year, we will be doing bigger, better and bolder.”

OMG Racing UK’s brand is growing stronger and stronger and we would like to thank everyone who has been involved in our debut season! Next year is just around the corner but keep your eyes on our social media channels in the meantime for everything you will need to know heading into what is set to be another scintillating British Superbike Championship in 2019!

Team OMG 2018

By | 2018-10-17T10:22:47+00:00 October 17th, 2018|News|0 Comments

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