First time fun was just what the upstart OMG Racing UK Suzuki Team carried out at testing in Cartagena, Spain, with Bennetts British Superbike Championship new-boy Gino Rea and former National Superstock 600 podium finisher Ben Luxton swiftly settling down into a fast developing relationship with the close-knit, newly formed and highly ambitious outfit.
The team are already making the BSB establishment sit up and pay attention after getting the V-plates off the GSX-R Suzuki Bikes in Spain, setting some hot lap times in both dry and damp conditions.
Gino Rea: ‘I honestly could not have expected any more from our first BSB test, I’m very happy. We basically started from zero here. It was my first time working with the team, my first time on a BSB Superbike and it was the teams first outing.
‘Our tyre life is great, even on the abrasive Cartagena circuit, which bodes well for us going forward. People tend to get caught up in one-off laps and outright pace at pre-season tests, but it’s the long distance pace that’s going to pay off in the races.
‘I’m really pleased with how quickly we formed a great rapport within the team too. This was especially important for me and I must say a very big thank you to everyone in the team for the pre-season preparation and their hard work over these 5 days.
‘Things get real now and the next time we’re on circuit is at the Official BSB Pre-Season test at Donington Park on March 20th followed by the race a week later. I’m excited and can’t wait to get started!’
The flamboyant Londoner isn’t the only talent riding for the much talked about newcomers, with former National Superstock 600 podium finisher Ben Luxton also graduating with the new team into the ever-competitive National Superstock 1000 class. With Ben settling in quickly with the 1000cc machine, it was a case of ‘love at first sight’ as the Stock 1000 rookie got bedded in with his other, racing half.
Ben Luxton: ‘I have gelled amazing with the bike and team which is great. The team have been working very hard to get me comfortable on the bike, trying different positions/riding styles and bike setup, achieving good times.
‘I’m looking forward to our next run out back in UK in a few weeks time. A huge thank you to all the team at OMG Racing UK.’
The founders of OMG Racing were feeling equally positive following the test:
’18 weeks ago an idea, now an incredibly professional team of people, we can’t thank everybody enough in the OMG Racing team for conducting themselves so well over the past five days, it felt like the team had been together for years.
‘The positive attitude and the desire to help each other at every moment was second to none, we have never seen such passion before amongst a team of individuals who in some cases have only known each other for a very short time.
‘The OMG Racing team has created an addictive environment, the belief and trust in each other that is evident has made us proud as owners and the guys should be very proud of themselves in making the last five days so successful and so much fun!’
Ray Stringer (Crew Chief): ‘I would just like to say I am very proud of OMG Racing. I have never worked with a more enthusiastic and professional team. To take a Superbike rookie and build a new bike from new, travel out to Spain before turning a wheel and compete and better a lot of established BSB teams is nothing short of astounding in my opinion.
‘OMG, as a new team, have fired a good warning shot across the the bows of the established teams and I feel have made our 2018 season intentions clear. We have a competitive package and world class rider in Gino and will be challenging for the top six shootout in our very first season. I am very much looking forward to the first round.’
Paul Curran (Team Manager): ‘After a very busy number of weeks building and preparing the bikes and the team infrastructure, it’s a very nice fulfilling feeling to have just finished a very successful first test as team OMG. It has been a great five days here at Cartagena – with lots of progress made with the GSXRs.
‘2018 is looking like it’s going to be a very interesting & eventful year and I would like to thank everyone involved with OMG Racing. Let’s start having fun and winning races!’
OMG Racing’s next public outing will be at the final pre-season test on the 20th March at Donington Park; followed by the season opener at Donington over the Easter weekend.