THE FHO Racing BMW team is aiming high as it heads to Snetterton this weekend as rider Peter Hickman fights to secure a place in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship Showdown.
Hickman has an outside chance of picking up one of the coveted top eight spots that would give him the opportunity to fight for the 2022 title and, along with team-mate Ryan Vickers, is looking forward to Round Eight of the series at the Norfolk track.
Currently sitting 10th in the standings, Hickman knows it’s a tall order but, armed with something new for his BMW M 1000 RR which he tested at Cadwell Park last week, the Senior TT winner will be throwing everything he has at getting three big results.
For Vickers, the event marks the championship’s sole visit to his local track and he hopes local knowledge coupled with big support from family and friends will help power him back into the top 10 as he aims to build on two strong top sevens at Snetterton last year.
In the Pirelli National Superstock Championship, Alex Olsen will be flying the flag on his own at Snetterton as his FHO Racing with Kobelco team-mate Jack Nixon has been ruled-out of action with a broken collarbone.
Olsen, who just missed out on a podium last time out, is chasing a win as he bids to get his title chase back on track and add to the two victories he scored last month at Thruxton.
Nixon, meanwhile, has been forced to withdraw from this weekend’s event as he continues to recover after a crash at Cadwell Park a fortnight ago – but is determined to be back fighting at the final three rounds.
Peter Hickman, Superbike:
“Cadwell may not have gone our way at all but we made a big step forward over the weekend and since then we’ve had a small test with a new part which seemed to help, so we’re going to run that at Snetterton – it’s something new and different, the bike felt really good and fast, so we’ll see what we can do.
“Snetterton has been a good-ish track for me in the past, we were really, really quick there last year, we were top two or three all weekend until the races where we had an issue – we managed to figure it out, it just took us too long but we got there in the end.
“Obviously, the Showdown is a long way away for us, however you never know what’s going to happen so we’ve got to take it race by race and push as hard as we can. All we can do is go out and try and win all three races so that’s the aim, that’s what we’ll try to.”
Ryan Vickers, Superbike:
“I’m really excited about my home round, I always look forward to Snetterton, there’s a lot of family, friends and sponsors who can’t get to many rounds so it’s nice to see them there – and it’s always a busy round.
“The circuit isn’t really one of my favourites believe it or not. There are a few areas I don’t like that much but on the whole it’s never been a bad one for me. I’ve had top 10s and top sevens there the majority of the time so hopefully we can add to that this weekend.
“I’d like some solid top 10s because we need to be up there fighting for the top five at least. We are hopefully starting to build some momentum now, so we’ll try to put into practice what we’ve learned over the last few race weekends and hopefully have a strong round.”
Alex Olsen, Superstock:
“I’m excited about getting to Snetterton, when we tested there pre-season we were among the fastest and the bike felt really good. I really enjoy the track, we should’ve won last year but we had a mechanical issue in the race which forced us to pull out so I’d like to put that right this year.
“Snetterton is one of my favourite tracks on the calendar, it’s actually a shame we only go there once. I’m hoping this weekend will be our chance to get the championship back on track.
“We are currently third and 33 points off the leader so it would be perfect if we can get back on the podium this weekend, try and close in and keep it going to see if we can’t turn it around.”
Jack Nixon, Superstock:
“Unfortunately, I won’t be racing at Snetterton which is really disappointing but it is the right decision. After breaking my collarbone at Cadwell Park a fortnight ago, I had hoped I would be able to ride this weekend but it just isn’t possible.
“The team has been great, we’ve been in constant contact and together we came to the decision that it would be best to pull out of this round with the aim of being back at Oulton Park.
“Although I am very keen to get back out, when you look at the big picture, it’s foolish to try and rush a return for the sake of a few weeks when I would be much better off concentrating on the recovery and coming back 100 per cent fit in a couple of weeks’ time.”
Faye Ho, Team Principal:
“It’s hard to believe that we’ve arrived at the eighth round already – it doesn’t seem long since we were at Snetterton for our first pre-season test in March and so much has happened since then!
“This weekend is going to be quite a big one for FHO Racing. Not only do we still have a chance of making the Showdown with Peter, it’s Ryan’s home round so he will be wanting to get the best results he can and also, we must look at Alex and what he can do to get closer to the Superstock title.
“We have a lot riding on this event but we’ve been working hard behind the scenes and we want to come out fighting on Friday morning. We know there’s a lot of work to do and as always in motorcycle racing, a bit of good luck would be nice but we are fired up, we are ready and we are determined to do the absolute best we can.”