Former MotoGP rider Héctor Barberá will line up for his first full season in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship in 2020, signing a new deal with the OMG Racing team which switches to BMW machinery for its new campaign.
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 class where he was the 2015 Open class champion.
Last season, the Spaniard made his debut at Donington Park with the title-winning Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki team, securing a top-10 finish on his Bennetts BSB debut, as well as a strong points haul at Snetterton and Assen.
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Barberá joins Luke Mossey as OMG continues to field a two-rider Superbike line up, with Aussie Billy McConnell lining up on the National Superstock 1000 grid.
Barberá said: “I’m delighted to remain in the Championship and to join OMG Racing for 2020. Last year I started during 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, so we were starting from scratch at each round.
“After 16 years in different championships where only four or five teams have a realistic shot at winning, BSB 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 an 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 added: “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 BSB 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.
“We have full faith in the racing ability of our line-up. With Luke Mossey and now Héctor, we have a mix of BSB 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 Racing Founder Alan Gardner concluded: “Signing Héctor 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.”