It’s been a tough weekend for the FHO Racing BMW Motorrad team, as Faye Ho’s squad returned to its Bennetts British Superbike Championship duties, and coming to Knockhill’s 1.27-mile circuit was a stark contrast to the Isle of Man TT Races, where the team were last in action.
Even though the fourth round of the championship presented its challenges in terms of grip and set-up issues across the board for Josh Brookes and Peter Hickman, it wasn’t all bad with Brookes scoring vital points in all races.
Finishing inside the top-ten in all races aboard the BMW M 1000 RR, Brookes finished yesterday’s 20-lap Sprint Race ninth, and came home ninth and eighth in today’s longer 30-lap races. With consistent point-scoring places, Brookes collected 22 points across the weekend and is still in championship contention where he’s fourth overall in the standings – 16 points shy of third place and 27 adrift of the championship leader.
For teammate Hickman, Knockhill delivered disappointment across the first two races, which saw him at the back of the field. Struggling to optimise the settings on his BMW machine, he finished the opening race of the weekend 16th and retired from today’s first race.
With track temperatures high and conditions near perfect across the weekend, the final race saw temperatures drop which helped the FHO squad address the niggling grip issues they had faced. Starting from 17th on the grid, Hicky made up places across the 30 laps and came home 12th picking up four points.
The FHO Racing BMW Motorrad team now have a well-deserved break having been back-to-back with race meetings since the second round at Oulton Park with BSB, the North West 200 and the TT Races. The fifth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship takes place at Snetterton next month across 7-8-9 July.
The weekend also saw the FHO Girls in action with two HEL Performance British Junior Supersport races, where Denise dal Zotto finished 21st and 24th, Jamie Hanks-Elliott came home 15th, just 0.275s shy of 14th in the opening race and finished 19th today. Holly Harris finished 29th and 28th, with Scarlett Robinson coming home 30th in both races.
“It’s been a difficult weekend to comment on really, it’s not been the results we wanted. We stayed on and finished all the races apart from a slip off this morning in warm up, so in one way we’ve got points in all three races and were in the top-ten. But it’s also been a frustrating weekend as we’ve not been able to make progress and fight for the higher places. We’ve tried to remain positive, make changes, always fighting to improve even if it’s just one sector, or one area of the bike to improve – but it just doesn’t seem to come here at Knockhill. We’ll now regroup as a team after a busy period with BSB and road racing, and we can head to Snetterton where hopefully we can look forward to some better results”
“It’s been a super tough weekend here at Knockhill, coming from probably the biggest circuit in the world to the smallest doesn’t help. I tried 110% across the weekend, but for reasons I can’t even explain, I don’t know why, but we’ve just not had the pace right from the start. The team has worked so hard, we’ve turned the bike inside out and it’s not seemed to make any difference to the lap times. We changed things again for the last race and it actually did make an improvement where we finished 12th, the change was something we hadn’t tried before, and it did help as we went forwards for the first time rather than backwards. This weekend we’ve not finished where we want to be, or where we should be with the M 1000 RR and it’s hard to keep the morale up, but you have to keep plugging away and it’s great for the team that Josh finished inside the top-ten! Thanks to everyone for all their hard work and we’ll come back stronger at Snetterton.”
Faye Ho – Team Principal:
“It’s been a tough weekend for Josh, Pete and the team at Knockhill, but this is racing and sometimes the weekend doesn’t go as you would hope. Even though it’s not been plain sailing and we’ve not had the results we wanted, or that we know both Josh and Pete are capable of, for Josh to come away with three top-ten finishes and collect vital points is still a positive and keeps us in the championship fight. Pete and his side of the garage have tried all weekend, but he had his progress hampered until the final race. It’s been a super busy period for everyone in the team with BSB, the North West 200 and of course the TT and I can’t thank everyone enough for all their hard work over this time. As a team we win together and we lose together, but the most important thing is that we’re all in this together and it’s how we deal with a difficult weekend that matters. Everyone has worked so hard and tried to remain upbeat and keep smiling even when times are tough. We have a few weeks now for some rest and we look forward to coming back to the fifth round refreshed and ready to get back into the mix.”