By Giles Spencer
Gino Rea made a surprise return to the British Superbike paddock last weekend at Cadwell Park for round 8 of the series with a superb points scoring
ride to 12th.
After signing to continue riding for the OMG Racing Suzuki team for the 2019 season late last year, the 29 year old announced just a few weeks later that he and the team were going their separate ways sighting a ‘conflict of interest’.
With no ride in the BSB series secured for 2019, the Tooting born racer has kept himself busy riding a Yamaha R1 in the Endurance World Championship for the Polish outfit Wojcik Racing Team 1 as well as doing track tuition and being mentor/coach to newly formed racing team, Ready 4 Racing, who are competing in the National Superstock 600 and British Motostar championships which run alongside the main British Superbike series.
A chance encounter whilst on ‘Ready 4 Races’ duties at Cadwell Park, with the Bike Devil Insurance MV Augusta team, saw him complete a successful last minute test on their F4-RR superbike, vacant after the departure of their previous rider, 2015 Moto3 World Champion, Danny Kent.
The team and Rea decided to continue the weekend together with the South Londoner going well in practice and qualifying to put the Italian machine 15th on the grid for race 1.
Making the most of the dry weather and quick pace from the morning warm-up, Rea rode the wheels of off the MV, which he’d only first seen on Thursday night, to a fine 12th place less than two tenths off 11th and only 5 seconds off the top ten. In the process he bagged the teams first points.
Any hopes of going onto greater things in race two were dashed when Rea was forced to retire with an electrical failure whilst sitting in a potential top ten position.
‘I was watching the Thursday evening Superbike practice with my Ready 4 Racing riders when I bumped into the MV team and they explained they parted ways with Danny (Kent) and would I like to do the rest of the session on their bike?
I ran back to my van, grabbed a spare helmet, borrowed a suit off one of my riders and I jumped on the bike and off I went!
At the start of the weekend I didn’t know what to expect and the bike needed a bit of work but we worked together so well as a team to improve the package over the weekend and every session we got stronger and stronger.
I got a good start to the (first) race and managed to get past a factory rider who’s been on the podium this year and just put my head down.
We’re the only MV on the grid and they had a lot of problems at the beginning of the year but I scored them their first points and in fact it’s the first points an MV has ever scored in BSB.
I had a quite good start in race 2 and was in the group battling for 8th but then we had an electrical problem and that was it.
I’ll probably find out more this week if they want me to do any more races this year. The team have to go back and talk to the sponsors and see how to manage the situation and I’ll wait for the call and hopefully it’s the right thing to do. I think the team were happy, we exceeded everyone’s expectations so yeh, let’s see!’
Photos: Bonnie Lane
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