Australian David Johnson has been confirmed as Bennetts British Superbike team OMG Racing’s first signing for the international road races in 2020.
The BSB outfit announced yesterday that it would tackle the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT for the first time next year with a two-man team.
Johnson has been revealed as one-half of the roads line-up, with the 35-year-old and his as yet unnamed team-mate set to ride BMW S1000RR and Yamaha R6 machinery in the Superbike, Superstock and Supersport classes.
The Adelaide man was part of the Honda Racing team in 2019 alongside Ian Hutchinson and clinched his maiden rostrum at the TT, when he edged out Michael Dunlop on the final lap to snatch third place in the Superstock race.
Johnson also won the Superbike race at the Classic TT this year after Dunlop was forced out a few miles from the finish.
Looking ahead to next season, he said: “I’m extremely happy to sign for OMG Racing for the 2020 roads season. It was a great year for me so I’m certain I can follow that up with more in 2020.
“The bikes will be top notch too – they’re a no-holds barred team when it comes to assembling the best bits of machinery and I’m sure that they’ll be able to deliver a bike capable of winning.”
The OMG Racing team remains fully committed to the British Superbike Championship and has signed the returning Luke Mossey and former MotoGP rider Hector Barbera, while Aussie Billy McConnell will compete in the National Superstock 1000 Championship.
Fermanagh’s Josh Elliott secured OMG Racing’s maiden BSB victory this season in the opening round of the championship at Silverstone. The team only joined the series in 2018 but has made impressive progress over the past two seasons and is now branching out into road racing.
Johnson added: “Having Billy McConnell and Luke Mossey amongst my teammates is awesome, there’ll definitely be some good times to share within the team across the roads and BSB.”
NW200 Event Director Mervyn Whyte said the announcement was ‘good news’ for the North Coast showpiece, which takes place from May 12-16.
“It is a real boost for the sport to have the OMG team in the road racing paddock for 2020,” he said.
“We are delighted the team has chosen the North West 200 to make it’s between the hedges debut. David Johnson has shown he can run at the front this year and he will want to make his mark in his first outing with his new team which is exciting news for North West 200 fans.”
A second rider for the roads is yet to be announced, with Hampshire’s James Hillier among the likely contenders to join the team.
Hillier has parted company from the Bournemouth Kawasaki team after a decade after opting to take on a new challenge in 2020.
OMG team principal Paul Curran said he wanted to sign “household TT names” to lead the team’s maiden foray into international road racing.
Curran said: “This is obviously a huge announcement as we prepare to take on our first ever roads season as a team. Road racing is something which has been on our radar for a while now but was a big investment in terms of time and resources, the team ownership agreed that it was something we couldn’t pass up on though – so it became a case of assembling a team capable of winning.
“Our focus and commitment to British Superbikes won’t be changing, so our supporters can expect us to give 100 percent to both the BSB and the roads across the season.
“We have some vastly experienced people coming on-board to help us develop behind the scenes, and on the bikes themselves – some household TT names – which we’ll be announcing over the coming days,” he added.
“We’re not competing just for the fun of it, we’re racing to win and to shake up the road racing competitions as we have done on the circuits.”