Podiums are like buses. You wait for one podium and two come at one round! How do we even begin to write this? An incredible weekend for OMG Racing sees Josh Elliott take home OMG’s first ever Bennetts British Superbike win, as well as a stunning podium, as Luke Mossey finds his feet to bring home two solid points scoring finishes.
Bennetts British Superbikes
Free practice saw both Luke and Josh trading times towards the top of the timing sheet, P2 for Josh in the first session, whilst Luke climbed to P3 in the second session. Those times translated into a qualifying pace which saw OMG break their first record of the weekend, with both riders making it into Q3 for the first time since OMG began competing just last season.
The boys lined up for the first race of 2019 in the heat of a less than traditional British April, Josh in P4 and Luke P5. What followed was 30 laps and a shortage of fingernails across the OMG pitbox. Luke Mossey saw himself dragged into a 20 lap battle with Linfoot and Iddon, before he was able to break away from the chasing pack and look towards Redding on the Ducati, closing the gap lap on lap until the flag where he finished P4.
A strong start from the ‘Ballinamallard bullet’ saw Josh squeeze past fellow BSB newcomer Scott Redding on the first corner and join a close battle between the McAMS Yamaha pairing of O’Halloran and Mackenzie.He looked set for his first podium in BSB sitting in P3, but as the Yamaha pairing clashed on the final corner, O’Halloran went down – moving Josh to P2 and sending the team wild on the pitwall. In the subsequent aftermath of the incident, Mackenzie was given a 3 second time penalty for his role and the win was given to the Ulsterman (who found out as he was getting changed, so apologies to the neighbours of the Elliott’s).
Race two saw more drama, as a mechanical failure for the PBM Ducati of Josh Brookes resulted in Luke receiving a bit of an unwanted bath in oil as he battled through the pack after being bumped down the pack during the traditional early lap shuffle. Unfortunately, whilst the oil came off the track, it didn’t come off Mossey, who battled poor visibility to finish with another strong points ride in P6.
Josh Elliott resumed his battle with Mackenzie from race one, handling a strong late charge from Danny Buchan to finish where he started the race. Two podiums in one round? No problem! Of course every race weekend has its possible improvements; next time you spray the champagne, try to reach the team Josh.
Luke Mossey: “Well what can I say, round one definitely didn’t disappoint! All in all, it was a great weekend but I feel like we were robbed today in the races by other people’s issues, saying that we come away fourth in the championship! We’ve shown our pace all weekend during the practice sessions and I think we’ve got a really good package. I’m looking forward to Oulton and properly getting our season underway.”
Josh Elliott: “A fantastic weekend! The OMG team have worked so hard and they gave me a great bike for the races. To come away leading the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike Championship is amazing. We’ll continue to work hard and focus on Oulton Park now. Thanks to everyone for your messages and support!”
Pirelli National Superstock 1000
A difficult weekend at Silverstone saw Billy McConnell able to showcase the pace he has on the OMG Suzuki, but unable to apply it during races due to parts failing mid-race. Skippy powered through those issues though and safely brought the bike back in the points, bringing home the maximum the team could expect given the circumstances.
However, Billy’s upbeat and celebrated the team’s performances today whilst looking to Oulton for a turn in fortunes. Hopefully all OMG’s bad luck has come in one round for this one!
Billy McConnell: It wasn’t the perfect scenario to be in this weekend but Josh walking away with a win, a second place and leading the championship, which is something the whole team can be very proud of. I feel very privileged to be a part of it and seeing results like that for both Josh and Luke, I wished that I could have been a part of it.
“Unfortunately, we had a rear brake issue, which was something I feel was out of our hands, nothing that me or the team could have done. We can only move forward to Thursday’s test. You know, we win together, we lose together, and we managed to come away with some points considering we could have pulled in with that issue. We stuck it out though and managed to come back with probably the maximum we could hope for with what we had. I feel like we have the package to keep progressing and now I’ll look forward to a circuit where I’ve won before. To see the team’s spirit and passion this weekend has been a real driving point for me, and I’ll look to use that as motivation to prove to myself and the team that we deserve these results”
Team Principal Paul Curran was disappointed with the issues preventing Billy McConnell from reaching the podium, but was quick to praise the hard work of the entire OMG team on a day for the team’s history books (Please send us cut-outs for our scrapbook of ‘Our second year at the BSB’)
Paul Curran – Team Principal: “Bit of an upside down weekend for us, a shame for the Superstock side of the garage which have had to deal with some parts which have failed mid race through no fault of our own which meant Billy couldn’t reach the results which his pace shows he could have done. Our early practice pace showed a top three position was on the cards and it’s a couple of parts which have stopped that from happening so onwards and upwards for Oulton.
On the Superbike side of things, what can I say? Amazing really that from founding the team last year to developing the bike like we have and the hard work over the winter, we leave Silverstone leading the championship with two podiums. There’s shock, but also not so much shock. P1 and P4 in the championship at the moment is pretty damn amazing, and both riders rode incredibly well across the two races. Big thanks to the team, all the guys who work in the garage and behind the scenes and a massive shout out to our Team Owner Alan Gardner who made all this possible. Onwards and upwards and now we look towards the test at Oulton Park”
OMG Team Owner Alan was so overjoyed he only managed to find three words to describe the weekend;
Alan Gardner – OMG Racing Team Owner: “Living the dream!” See you all at Oulton Park where OMG will look to build on this great start and add to the collection of half-opened champagne bottles.