Former World Supersport race winner and Moto2 Podium man Gino Rea will make his debut in the MCE British Superbike Championship in 2018 after signing to ride for the all-new OMG Racing UK Suzuki team.
Being a podium finisher in both World Supersport and Moto2 over the past 5 seasons, the Brit will make the switch to the British Superbike Championship to line up with the new team on Suzuki’s GSX-R1000R, and is relishing the new challenge and the opportunity to compete in front of the British fans. Managed by former racer Paul Curran of PCR Performance, OMG Racing UK is owned by Chris Oscroft, Greg McPhail and Alan Gardner, who are all excited to join the paddock for the first-time next year.
“I am so excited to join OMG Racing and to compete in the British Superbike Championship. I have wanted to make the step up onto a Superbike for several years now but the right package hasn’t presented itself, until now. After meeting with the OMG Racing team and hearing their professionalism and attitude towards racing and their will to succeed, I knew immediately that this is the right move,” said Rea. “The new Suzuki GSX-R1000 has huge potential having already won a race in BSB, so combined with the team’s acquirement of Ray Stringer as my crew chief; I jumped at this opportunity to make my move into the Superbike category. I know how important it is to not only have a good bike, but also the right people around a rider and I feel those boxes are ticked with OMG Racing.
“There is a lot for me to learn as I’ve never raced in BSB, the bike, the circuits, the format etc, but it’s a breath of fresh air and a challenge that I’m looking forward to. The Championship is one I have followed closely for many years and it’s the best domestic series in the World. Whilst competing in the World Championship I would usually only get one chance per year to race on home soil, so it’s going to be a great feeling to race in front of the British fans more often.
“I truly believe OMG Racing will do everything it takes to be successful and I couldn’t be more pleased right now. I’d like to thank everyone involved with OMG Racing for making this happen, I can’t wait to get started.”
Working alongside Rea as crew chief is Ray Stringer, who already has race-winning experience with the Suzuki GSX-R1000 after a year in the hot seat as Sylvain Guintoli’s crew chief this season. “We are delighted to bring Gino into the British Superbike Championship after many successful years of competing at World Championship level,” team boss Curran explained. “We’ll also run Ben Luxton in the Superstock 1000 class. We are excited to be working with the new GSX-R1000 as I myself at PCR Performance have been developing the bike since February and we also have the very experienced Ray Stringer on board as superbike crew chief. Each year BSB continues to assert itself as the greatest domestic bike series in the world and we are excited to join the paddock in 2018 with riders we know have the ability and focus to develop into winning contenders. We have an extensive winter testing schedule so we can come to the first round fighting fit. It is going to be a very interesting and exciting year. We’d like to thank Brad and Dale of Powerslide Motorcycles – UK Suzuki dealer of the year – for supplying the bikes and their continued support.”