Scotland, Tuesday 10th July 2018.
Under blissful, sunny skies, the OMG Racing team made the trip to Scotland a memorable one in 2018. Superbike rider Gino Rea scored a point, whilst Ulsterman Josh Elliott gave the brand new team their first points in the National Superstock 1000 category.
The OMG Racing Superbike was out in full force over the weekend, with Gino setting good lap times throughout the Friday practice sessions. On Saturday, not only did Gino qualify 15th and just under a second off the pole position time, but it was his best qualifying to-date since joining the Bennetts British Superbike Championship. The races also saw Gino make progress and whilst race one yielded little in the way of points, the ex World Supersport winner pierced into the top 15 later on in the afternoon during race two.
“We’re leaving Knockhill with a point scoring result but I expected more on Sunday. Over the weekend we had been gradually closing the gap to the leaders and for the first time this year we made Q2 on Saturday and recorded a season best qualifying position. We made some changes for race one which, in hindsight, didn’t work, but we rebounded in race two to score points.
“I felt really good on the bike in qualifying so we will build on that feeling and keep moving forward. We are definitely taking the positives and I’m thankful for the teams continued hard work this weekend. Roll on my home race at Brands Hatch!”
2015 National Superstock 1000 champion Josh Elliott scored the team’s first points in that respective class, after retiring from race one with a technical issue. The former winner at Knockhill qualified in 8th place and ran with the leading group for the first part of both races. He finished safely in the points in race two with an 11th place.
“Knockhill didn’t give us the results we wanted, but it was a valuable experience and we learnt new things about the bike and our setup. A massive thanks to everyone at OMG Racing for their endless work and effort all weekend. I’m sure as we learn and progress our set up we will be closer to the front.”
Team manager Paul Curran was pleased with the consistency that both riders were able to achieve, whilst also remaining optimistic that Brands Hatch will yield bigger and better results.
Paul Curran, Team Manager
“For both riders we made big steps forward with the bikes and both were able to consistently put in competitive lap times. It was a shame for Josh that we had a component failure in his first race which caused him to retire. We had gone with a slightly different setup for the second race that, unfortunately, didn’t quite work in some areas of the circuit. That said, he scored OMG’s highest point scoring finish in the Superstock class and we, as well as Josh, know that it is only the start of good things to come.
“For Gino, we went into this weekend with some new parts to try and by qualifying we had got the bike in a good position to do a competitive lap time. We had tried a new direction in warm up for race one but for longevity in a 30 lap race, it wasn’t the way to go. Race two was back to the same setup we had for qualifying and Gino was able, for the majority of the race, to put in competitive lap times.
“We have a few things to work on ready for Brands Hatch GP, but now have a very good base to hit the ground running in FP1.”
Crew chief Ray Stringer was back in action at Knockhill and discussed the modifications made to chassis setup, which have given the team some renewed confidence ahead of the next round, as well Josh Elliott’s performance.
Ray Stringer, Crew Chief
“I think we have turned a corner with Gino and the setup of the bike this weekend. We tried several directions with the chassis set-up but ended up back where we started. The stiffer chassis modifications suit Gino and the Pirelli tyres more, so that is where we will start the next round. Until Gino encountered arm pump issues in race two, he was consistently doing the lap times of 6th position backwards. The last two or three tenths of lap time come from confidence, which will build from here on in.
“Josh was a different story this weekend, as I feel that we were playing catch-up in understanding the Ohlins suspension. For the race, the bike was nearly there but had 2mm too much preload on the rear which made the bike edgy and unpredictable on grip. Although he did competitive lap times in the second race, two big moments coming out of the hairpin made him lose positions from a possible 5th back to 11th. Now we have a handle on the Ohlins chassis setup, I am sure he will be competitive from his first session at Brands Hatch!”
Stay tuned to OMG Racing UK Suzuki Team’s social media channels for all of the latest build-up in to Brands Hatch taking place in just under two weeks!