Birmingham, UK, 21st May 2018: New kid on the grid OMG Racing are making their debut as a wildcard entry into the World UK round of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at Donington Park, 25-27 May. After a promising performance at the Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Gino Rea is taking on the World with a brand-new team and a custom tuned Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Over the years, wildcard entrants have added drama and thrill to the already exhilarating World Superbike series. Wildcards looking to make a name for themselves in their one-off appearances are keeping the regular riders on their toes, making them fight to score points.
One hopeful wildcard who wants to take a stab at ending the three-season Kawasaki-Ducati duopoly is OMG Racing star Gino Rea. A familiar name to Superbike fans, Gino has previously competed in the Superstock class of the European Superbike paddock where he went on to become Superstock 600 Champion, picking up 20 podiums and 3 wins across Moto2 and Supersport World Championships.
Despite his previous success, Gino will find himself up against some of the biggest names at this season of the WorldSBK Championship. Wildcard Gino will be pitted against three-time world champion Jonathon Rea and Superbike legend Tom Sykes of the Kawasaki Racing Team.
On top of this, Gino has had a difficult start to this season, involving a crash during the qualifying round and difficulty adapting his riding style and Suzuki GSX-R1000 to the Brand’s Hatch circuit. What would have been a major setback to most, Gino remains positive about competing against the Superbike legends on the Donington circuit.
Gino Rea said: “The transition onto the Superbike from Supersport hasn’t been the biggest issue for me at all, I think my style suits the 1000cc without much adapting. What has been tough is learning the UK circuits and the style and bike set up required for them. In racing you never stop learning but this has been a steep learning curve for me; To learn new circuits on a Superbike whilst you’re out on track with riders that have been there for years and going round at near lap record pace is pretty much being in at the deep end. I think we have been learning quick though and all progress is going in the right direction, thanks to the teams great efforts and positive outlook. We are hoping to keep the ball rolling and keep improving, one step at a time!”
A big part of how Gino keeps an optimistic outlook is the support he gets from his new team, OMG Racing. Unlike many of the teams Gino will be competing against, OMG Racing is a non-factory team founded by three close friends. They have appointed themselves two goals for this season: to win and to have fun.
“Everyone stays positive no matter what happens, everyone’s behind you, everyone’s backing you” says Gino.
While another Rea might be feeling confident in the limelight, Gino might have a trick up his sleeve. As an ex-Grand Prix rider, he’s mastered the Donington circuit and his team’s Suzuki GSX-R1000 has a winning track record. Plus, the playing field between factory and non-factory teams has been more levelled this season, due to new WorldSBK regulations involving rev limiting, concessions and approved parts.
OMG Racing crew chief Ray Stringer, who already has race-winning experience in the Suzuki GSX-R1000, says “I do believe and hope OMG will ruffle the feathers of a few established WSB teams with our performance on track.
“My personal focus is to help OMG Suzuki with Gino to gain World Championship points in both races on a BSB spec bike. I think this would be a monumental achievement and is possible if we have a good weekend.”
To many, the high hopes of newcomers OMG Racing on their wildcard entry into the WorldSBK Tournament is wishful thinking. But their determination and willingness to compete with the established factory teams against all odds is what makes this sport great.
About OMG Racing
OMG Racing UK is a brand new British Superbike (BSB) team for 2018.
Founded by three friends, the team has been built from scratch and is set to take the British Superbike Championship by storm with the ethos ‘Having Fun. Winning Races’.