A mixed weekend for OMG Racing at Oulton Park saw Josh Elliott put two more points finishes under his belt, with Luke Mossey also finishing in the points following an exhaust failure which took him out of race one. It’s a bit of a come down after the elation of Silverstone, but other sessions show that team has pace. Now it’s about finding consistency in extracting that pace as OMG Racing continue their 2019 Bennetts British Superbike season.
Bennetts British Superbikes
An early indication of the pace came on Saturday’s Free Practice sessions, with Mossey posting impressive times to move from P8 in the first session to P4 in the second, with Jossi in and around the edges of the top ten across each session. In qualifying the boys made it safely through Q1, but both fell foul of traffic in their attempts to extract the fastest time from their machines. Traffic eh? You sit through it all the way to the circuit, and then you can’t escape it when you get out on track!
Race one saw Jossi & Mossey (crimefighting duo extraordinaires) line up alongside each other on the fourth row of the grid, with Josh starting P10 alongside Luke in P11. With a clean getaway and both riders closing in on riders in front of them, it appeared as though another strong first race was on the cards.
It wouldn’t be a season without some mechanical drama however, unfortunately this time it was Luke Mossey on the receiving end after showing promising pace behind the RAF Kawasaki of Ryan Vickers. A component within the exhaust system fracturing and forcing him to pull the bike into the pitbox for the team to take a look at the audibly ‘V4-esque’ sounding Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Josh had a number of good battles with both Vickers and Farmer, before a late charge from Championship rival Mackenzie moved him back to P10, where he was able to fend off Andrew Irwin by just 0.022.
Lining back up on row four for the second race, both riders held their positions on the initial shake-up and looked quick, with Luke in particular all over the back of Farmer. However, as the tyres wore, both riders began to drop pace and ended up slipping back out of the top ten, despite long battles with the likes of Linfoot, Andrew Irwin and Ray. Both riders ended up scoring valuable championship points though, with Mossey finishing P14 ahead of Elliott in P15.
Luke Mossey #12 – Bennetts British Superbike – Championship Position: 8th
Race 1 – DNF
Race 2 – P14
“A frustrating weekend for us, we showed great potential in free practice and it just feels like there’s been a hurdle in front of us from qualifying onwards. We got held up by other riders and got bumped down to 11th, the exhaust failed in race one, so we had to change that for race two and the bike just didn’t feel as it did on Saturday. It’s frustrating, I mean it’s no one’s fault and the team know that, everyone’s working so hard to get to where we need to be and to repay them with a 14th place is really frustrating, we’re so much better than that but we have a couple of weeks off now so we can regroup and we’ll be back stronger.”
Josh Elliott #10 – Bennetts British Superbike – Championship Position: 8th
Race 1 – P10
Race 2 – P15
“A very challenging day for us, I don’t know what to say really. We made a few changes to the bike that I thought were going to feel better and they didn’t unfortunately. I felt a lot of chatter in race one and just couldn’t make any ground up. Then we made a big change for race two and the bike just didn’t feel right for me today. We’ll go back to the drawing board and figure out why there was such a big difference between here and Silverstone, and how we can get back to impressing at Donington. I think I’ll go well there; the circuit really suits my style and hopefully I can get myself back up on the box.”
Pirelli National Superstock 1000
A Strong points haul was just the remedy required for Billy McConnell, who’s getting closer to a return to the podium with every race. The Bilby topped the timesheets in the first free practice session and looked to have an opportunity after qualifying third. But fan-favourite ‘Skippy’ was jumped at the start by the Tyco BMW of Andrew Reid and struggled to find a way past on the wet setup. By the time he’d managed to literally skip past Reid, he fell afoul of the charging pair of Jackson and Olsen – finishing the race in P5. A solid points haul though for Skippy to put in his pouch ahead of Round three, he was happy to be back in the groove and has his eyes on the podium.
Billy McConnell #3 – Pirelli National Superstock 1000
Race – P5
“We started off really well at Oulton Park, qualifying in third and our dry pace was really good. This was the first time we’ve been out for a wet race – well I wouldn’t even say it was a wet race because there was a dry line, but we had to run the wet tyres. We ended up finishing fifth and getting some points on the board which is great considering at Silverstone we had the brake issues. I didn’t really like getting dropped as much as we did, I couldn’t even see the leaders so there’s definitely some work to be had there, but I feel really comfortable on the bike and can’t really understand why we were dropped as much as we were.
We were held up at the start a bit by Andy (Reid), he was riding a bit defensively and I couldn’t quite get past him. Then Olsen came past and I couldn’t even hang on to his back wheel to be honest. We’ll have a look over the data though and try to work forward. Hopefully we’ll be getting back on the podium very soon… well, immediately really!”
Team Principal Paul Curran brought the focus back to the reality that again, it’s a double points-scoring finish for the team and highlighted a great ride by Billy.
Paul Curran – OMG Racing Team Principal
“Bit of a different weekend this weekend from a results perspective but we’ve made steps forward with the bike again and learned some new things about it that we’ll find out only by going to different circuits. It’s a bit of a downer from where we were at Round One but if we look at it in reality, we still scored points with both riders which is the aim of the game – the more the better obviously.
Billy hasn’t been feeling too well so it’s been tough for him but given the conditions and how he’s been feeling he’s done well to finish where he did. We’re looking forward to Donington, hopefully the weather will be more kind to us and we’ll have a good round.”
Alan Gardner looked to see the positives, and hopefully more sunshine!
Alan Gardner – Team OMG
“A tough weekend for the boys and for the team, but we’re still learning and developing our machines so ultimately there will be ups and downs throughout the season – that’s racing isn’t it? Oulton’s a tough track to master, so we’ll just have to come back and give it another go later in the year with some more sun eh?”
OMG will return in a few weeks’ time to Donington Park with smiles on their faces to put on a show for the Bennetts British Superbike crowds!