Fresh off the back of the announcement that OMG Racing would campaign the 2023 Bennetts British Superbike Season as LAMI OMG Racing, the reigning champions headed to the first official UK-based test with a metaphorical spring in their step. Buoyed by the team’s performance at Navarra, with Kyle Ryde topping the times across all 3 days, the riders were looking forward to experiencing the new Donington Park surface laid down by MSV during the winter.
Unfortunately, despite the clocks changing, the memo hadn’t reached the weather gods that British Springtime had officially begun, and the paddock was met with cold, wind and rain across the two-day test.
Saturday was a write off almost from the beginning, with a period of sunshine late morning allowing the team’s Pirelli National Junior Superstock rookie Aaron Daykin to spin a handful of laps, but otherwise delivering nothing but more rain and a track so cold that going out would yield no useful information.
Sunday started cold, with rain mid-morning dampening (no pun intended) the spirits of the team, but a reprieve was granted late morning, meaning that as the track dried during the afternoon both Ryan & Kyle would be able to get out for a short amount of time. In the first session, despite both riders going out on used tyres, Kyle would finish the session P2, with a lap time of 1:31.117, whilst teammate Ryan would be just behind with a 1:32.260.
The last session would see 15 riders brave the cooling track, the temperature of which was now below 10ºC, before the forecast rain rolled back in. As expected, Kyle was on it from the beginning, and following a brief spell in the garage, would emerge to throw a final lap time of 1:28.804, just ¼ of a second off the official BSB lap record, and more than 0.7 of a second up the road from his nearest rival.
Ryan would finish the weekend a fantastic P5 overall, which is even more impressive when you consider how little time he’s been able to bag on the R1. Both James Hiller (Pirelli National Superstock Yamaha R1) and Aaron Daykin (Pirelli National Junior Superstock Yamaha R6) were able to get a few laps in during the latter stages of the day, improving their times throughout, and all riders are looking to get as much seat time as possible at the upcoming Silverstone test, ahead of the opening round, taking place Easter Weekend.
Alan Gardner, LAMI OMG Racing Team Owner – “The conditions this weekend weren’t ideal for what we wanted to achieve, but it’s safe to say we definitely made the best of them. With Kyle topping the times yet again and Ryan in the Top 5, despite the minimal time he’s had on the bike, I think we can definitely call it a success. It was fantastic to see so many fans brave the great British weather to watch the action on track, and it’s made me more eager than ever to get back racing so we can all experience the buzz that only the BSB paddock can give!”
Paul Curran, LAMI OMG Racing Team Principal – “From a technical perspective, this weekend was all about learning the characteristics of the new track surface and capitalising on what we learned from our successful trip to Andalucía & Navarra a few weeks ago. In an ideal world we would’ve had more track time, but the team did an amazing job with what we had and, as always, gave it their all. With Silverstone coming up in less than 2-weeks’ time, we’re looking to gather as much data as possible at the upcoming test, so we can hit the ground running.”
Kyle Ryde, LAMI OMG Racing BSB #77 – “I think we all wanted more time on track, but you can’t help the British weather! I think MSV have done a great job on the new track surface, and we’re going to see some seriously impressive times when we come here in a few months. The bike felt great, and despite the cold it’s been a productive weekend.”
Ryan Vickers, LAMI OMG Racing BSB #7 – “As with everyone at Donington Park this weekend, I would’ve loved more time on the bike, but the small window we did get was definitely useful. Even though I’ve not had the opportunity to spend as much time on the bike as I’d have liked recently, the team have done an awesome job with it, and I’m feeling more confident than ever coming into the season.