Bold, brash and brewing an upset, OMG Racing UK Suzuki Team leaves the Bennetts British Superbike test at Donington Park brimming with confidence going into the first round of the season, with fun-loving Londoner Gino Rea firing to fourth by the end of the day. After losing their V-plates and smashing all speculation about pre-season performance at the previous test in Cartagena, Spain, all the team’s hard work was reflected in the lap times come the end of play.
Hard graft, determination, fun and banter has made the OMG Racing team garage a hive of activity and entertainment, even if the British weather blighted OMG Racing for the second consecutive test. Their competitiveness in all conditions was proven by finishing significantly higher up the timing charts than fellow Suzuki riders. Running through a robust schedule focused on cutting-edge developments, Gino was in high praise for both bike and team.
Gino Rea ‘My hands have only just thawed out! It’s been a long chilly day but very positive. It’s nice to see where we stack up against everyone on a UK circuit. I didn’t really get a clean lap in at the end with the new tyre, but I did a lot of laps on used tyres and we’re pretty happy with the wear life.
‘We still have areas to improve on the bike but it’s a fantastic start, and it’s all thanks to the work that Ray Stringer, Paul Curran and the team have put in during the off season. I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone in the OMG Racing team and I’m looking forward to starting for real next weekend!’
Superstock 1000 rider Ben Luxton was also feeling the speed (and the chill!) on the Donington Park GP circuit. Debuting the latest Yoshimura electronics on his striking black-and-yellow Suzuki, his time was dedicated to familiarisation of the new category and feel of the bike on British shores.
Ben Luxton: ‘It has been a positive test at a chilly Donington Park and I am happy with how today went. We have worked through different set-ups and improved in every session, which leaves me excited and confident for round one in just under two weeks time. I must say a big thank you to everyone in the team at OMG Racing for all their hard work. I can’t wait to get started!’
Paul Curran, Team Manager, believes that the upstart outfit is tantalisingly close to a great result for the first round of the 2018 season, whilst equally in high regard for the quality of the riders.
Paul Curran: ‘Apart from the weather conditions, today could not have gone any better for team OMG Suzuki. Both riders completed as many dry laps as possible, with Ben testing out the new Yoshimura electronics that only arrived with us a day before we were packing up for the event. Gino had some new development parts on the Superbike too.
‘Both riders are posting competitive times in very cold conditions. Now with more data and information to work with for round one, we will have a very strong start to the 2018 championship. I just want to say a very big thank you to all of Team OMG, it feels like one big racing family.’
Feeling more confident than ever before, the OMG Racing bosses know that success may only be a matter of weeks away.
‘Despite cold and damp conditions, there was a real warmth in the ‘OMG’ garage! It was great to be back with the team since the Cartagena test. I think we should all be very proud of what we have achieved so far; today has really made it a reality!
‘Both of our bikes looked fantastic and – with the help of both riders – definitely turned heads! Gino and Ben are still finding the settings they require but every lap moves us in that direction, having had limited time and inclement weather at every test. The team is getting stronger all the time and I am sure we are set for a great season.’
Ray Stringer, Crew Chief, is also impressed with the fresh Suzuki machinery and team alike.
‘I am really pleased with how the day went. The entire pit lane has had to sit up and take notice of the new boys on the block! The part of the day that I am really really happy with is the tyre wear. It is fantastic compared to other motorcycles and riders I have worked with, firstly at Cartagena and now at Donington in the freezing cold. That is going to be a massive advantage to us as the season goes on.’
OMG Racing would like to say a big thank you to the product sponsors that have helped to make the team a reality:
OMG Racing would also like to thank all the supporters who have been cheering them on at every turn.