The OMG Racing Suzuki team enjoyed a challenging, yet-rewarding, British Superbike round at Oulton Park. Securing more points in both the British Superbike Championship and in the National Superstock 1000 class. The team had good practice sessions and Gino Rea started from his joint best grid position of the year in 13th, whilst Josh Elliott was just under a tenth of a second from a front row in his first outing on the OMG Suzuki Oulton Park. With a weekend full of positives, the results do not do justice the progress of the all-new, all-sparkling Superbike team.
Gino Rea’s return to Oulton Park was more successful than his debut at the track in British Superbikes back in May; this time adding two point-scoring finishes to his tally. As the only Suzuki rider to finish both races in the points in the Superbike class, the former World Supersport star focused primarily on the positives from Oulton Park, whilst also looking forward to returning to a circuit he knows well being Assen. The Londoner is one of just a handful of riders to have point-scoring results in the last five races too, so his form is good ahead of the Dutch round.
“Just like the circuit is a rollercoaster, it has been a rollercoaster weekend for us. Unfortunately, unlike Silverstone, the races were our weak points. Throughout the whole weekend we’ve looked good; in the wet I’ve been at the front and in the dry we’ve been competitive too. Unfortunately on Sunday in the mixed conditions, we didn’t quite hit the nail on the head.
“In race one, we had a few issues and, in all fairness, we just really struggled. I expected to be able to put the bike comfortably inside the top ten having been good in the wet practices, but a couple of issues prevented that happening. As the track dried out for race two, our lack of dry time just meant we struggled again. I made a bad start and was pushed off the narrow racing line. Then I was caught up in Tom Neave’s crash that sent me to the back. I was able to pass some of the guys at the back and I thought I could catch Mason Law, but I was just too far back then and it was a struggle from there.
“We have shown more potential at Oulton Park this time than the last time we were here in May so, all in all, it is not a complete disaster. We want to stay positive and,with five top tens on the spin, we go to the Assen circuit looking to bounce back stronger”.
Josh Elliott was yet again putting OMG Racing on the map with a splendid 5th place on Saturday, whilst slipping out of the lead at the end of the first lap on Sunday. The Ulsterman has been a phenomenal asset to the Cannock-based team and whilst he didn’t add to the all-new trophy cabinet at Oulton Park, he is fired up to deliver more success at the final round at Brands Hatch.
“It was definitely a challenging weekend. Coming into Oulton Park we still had a mathematical chance of winning the title, which has now gone. Right from the start of the weekend, we were fast and continuously developed and improved the bike.
“In race one, we had a good start. We had the one lap pace but couldn’t quite live with the leaders over the race distance, although we came away with the fastest lap which positioned me on pole for race two on Sunday. We made an adjustment and came out fighting in warm up and during the race itself, we made a great start and pulled a big gap. The bike was set up for full wet conditions and therefore the bike was soft. I went into Lodge corner and tucked the front and that was it for me. I think I had the pace to win the race, but hopefully we will come back at Brands Hatch and end the year on a high.
“The progression on the OMG Suzuki has been phenomenal since joining at round four; we are like a family and have a great laugh together. They’ve showed a lot of support right from the start and I repaid them with their first win at Thruxton and we’ve been on the up ever since”.
Team manager Paul Curran was happy with a double point-scoring ride from Gino Rea in the Superbike class – making it five point-scoring finishes on the bounce, one of just five riders to have achieved this success in the last five races.
“Our weekend hasn’t been bad. There’s been mixed riding conditions all weekend and that made it tricky for both riders.
“Josh hadn’t ridden the bike here at all in the wet and that made his first two sessions very tricky. The qualifying session was his first time in the dry at Oulton on our bike, and he did an alright job to be fair. For him to come away with the weekend with the fastest lap from race one is a positive and, whilst he crashed, he crashed with a massive lead after not even a full lap in race two so we know the pace is there.
“It was pretty much the same with the Superbike as well, with Gino not getting in as many dry laps as he had hoped. The first race could’ve gone better and it was very much the same in the second one. It is a bit frustrating after the results we had at Silverstone. We thought we had turned a corner with the bike, but Oulton Park is a tricky old place and the boys cracked on with the job well”.
Crew chief Ray Stringer remained positive despite the difficulties that the Oulton Park Circuit (and weather) posed to the OMG Racing outfit. Stringer stated that whilst they thought coming back to a circuit they’d already been to would help, the brand new team is only going to grow from strength to strength through the remainder of the 2018 season.
“Truthfully, we thought it would be useful to come to a circuit that we had been to before. It’s been a disappointing weekend but there are positives. Josh was inside the top five in race one and set the fastest lap too; that was probably the highlight of the weekend. It’s frustrating to see him crash from the lead in race two but that is racing. We are consistent after every round, we have a good package and we are only in our first year – it is only going to go from strength to strength.
“With Gino, we lost our way somewhere along the line. The inconsistent weather probably didn’t help but I am very much looking forward to Assen – having taken the Superbike Suzuki to a win there last year. We are in British Superbikes for top ten results and we simply didn’t get them this weekend, which is probably made even harder after our top tens last week. All we can do is keep pushing on”.
Don’t forget that fans can experience the ULTIMATE OMG experience at the Assen round of the British Superbike Championship in September. Fly with us on the Sunday morning on a private jet to experience the race day action in the most VIP of ways. Meet the riders and the team on the flight back. Each ticket provides one entry to WIN A 20K OMG TUNED TRACK BIKE, with the only other entrants being on the plane with you! For more information about what is included, please visit www.omgracing.co.uk/bookflyomg!