Former MotoGP rider Héctor Barberá has put pen-to-paper with OMG Racing to launch his bid for the 2020 Bennetts British Superbike Championship. The 33-year-old joins OMG after spending the majority of the 2019 season riding for the Quattro Bournemouth Kawasaki team.
Barberá has a wealth of experience as a race winner in both the 125cc and 250cc World Championship Grand Prix classes, finishing second in the 2009 250cc GP title battle. He later moved to the premier MotoGP championship where he was the 2015 Open class champion.
Last season, the Spaniard settled in the midfield and showed glimpses of his talent with a top 10 at Donington Park, as well as a strong points haul at Snetterton and Assen.
Héctor joins Luke Mossey as OMG retain a two-rider British Superbike outfit, with Aussie Billy McConnell lining up on the National Superstock 1000 grid.
After securing their first British Superbike win in 2019, OMG Racing previously announced that they will switch from Suzuki to the new BMW S1000RR ahead of the 2020 season, and a replica 2020 Superstock 1000 bike is currently on display at Motorcycle Live on the Main Stage.
And Barberá admitted that the competitive nature of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship was at the heart of his decision to return to the UK in 2020 for his first full season.
Hector Barberá – OMG Racing
Bennetts British Superbike Championship
“I’m delighted to remain in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship and to join OMG Racing for 2020. Last year I started part-way through the season and that was a big challenge, there was a lot of learning to do in a very short space of time – without testing. And for the last 3 or 4 races I didn’t have an experienced Crew Chief, so we were basically starting from scratch at each round.
After 16 years in different championships where only 4 or 5 teams have a realistic shot at winning, British Superbikes is a special series to compete in because of how open and competitive it is. Any number of riders and manufacturers can win – which is to me unlike any series in the world. The fans are also incredibly passionate, I am still learning a lot about racing over here but to see so many people who want to talk to me and make me feel welcome is something I’ve enjoyed since starting over in the UK.
I’ll be working hard this winter to arrive at testing in the best shape possible and I know the team is already hard at work to develop the bike. I have respect for all the teams and the riders competing in this championship but I’m here to win. I have the experience, I have shown that I am a fast rider, and I’m ready for battle.
Thank you to OMG Racing for this opportunity, they are a young and exciting team, but are hungry to win like me and have lots of experienced staff who I can work with to improve. Thanks also to my personal sponsors and to Bournemouth Kawasaki for the opportunity to ride for them last season.”
Team Principal Paul Curran believes that after a season of learning the circuits on the British Superbike calendar, Barberá can challenge for a Showdown spot;
Paul Curran, OMG Racing Team Principal
“I’m delighted to have secured Héctor for the 2020 Bennetts British Superbike Championship and to welcome him to the OMG Racing family.
Héctor only joined the championship part-way through the season, so I don’t think last season was a true reflection of his talents – the first time he raced a British Superbike he put it in the top 10 with no testing, which shows there’s lots of potential for him in the series. He obviously brings a huge amount of experience from his time in MotoGP and the move to BMW should suit him well now that he’s been to most of the British Superbike circuits.
Héctor will be working with Ray Stringer and our own Spaniard Justin, so that should mean we’re able to help him settle and we can get straight down to work. As a team, we have one of the most passionate supporter fan groups in the paddock – so bringing them podiums and race wins are top of our agenda, we’re already hard at work on our 2020 BMW S1000RR’s to make that happen.
At OMG, none of our riders are paying for their seats – not only does it make us very competitive in terms of the riders who are interested in riding for us, but it also means we have full faith in the racing ability of our line-up. With Luke Mossey and now Héctor, we have a mix of British Superbike and international circuit racing experience which we hope will help both riders to develop and progress. The goal for them both is to challenge for a Showdown spot and as a team, we have total belief that they can do it.”
OMG Founder Alan Gardner explained why Héctor was top of OMG’s wish-list for the 2020 season.
Alan Gardner, OMG Racing Founder
“Signing Héctor Barberá is a statement of real intent for us this year as we look to build on our first British Superbike win. We’re still a relatively young team, and so to have someone like Héctor working with us will help us to find those extra few tenths and bring the whole team forward as a group. Last year we had a bit of a rollercoaster year in terms of results, and the goal for both Luke and Héctor is to consistently challenge at the front of the grid. It’s a big family atmosphere in our team, and everyone is working hard to give our riders the best opportunities to get themselves on the rostrum next season. ”
Make sure to follow the team on social media for all the latest updates as OMG builds up to the 2020 Bennetts British Superbike Championship!