The FHO Racing BMW Motorrad team got the 2023 Bennetts British Superbike Championship off to a flying start this afternoon at Silverstone, as Josh Brookes completed the podium in third place aboard his BMW M 1000 RR machine.


With clear skies and warm temperatures at Silverstone’s National Circuit, Brookes started the 22-lap BikeSocial Sprint Race from the front row having qualified third earlier in the day.


Keeping within the leading pack throughout the duration of the race, Brookes was up into second place on the ninth lap. Dropping back a few places into fourth after making a corner entry mistake, the Australian still had the podium in sight and it was on the last lap he made a lunge at Luffield to claim the third-place spot, his first podium since 2021.


Meanwhile teammate Peter Hickman had a strong start to the race, after qualifying 11th he had moved up into ninth with eighth place just in sight. However due to a bike in front of him leaking fluid and not wanting to crash out he dropped back, which saw him cross the line where he started in 11th. Despite dropping back, Hickman’s lap times were strong enough for a top seven finish.


Tomorrow, the FHO Racing BMW Motorrad team will be back in action, with two longer races of the 1.64-mile circuit.


BikeSocial Sprint Race – 22 laps

  1. Kyle Ryde (Yamaha) 19:43.658
  2. Tommy Bridewell (Ducati) +0.436
  3. Josh Brookes (BMW) +1.664
  4. Jason O’Halloran (Yamaha) +1.867
  5. Glenn Irwin (Ducati) +2.541
  6. Leon Haslam (BMW) +2.764
  7. Jack Kennedy (Yamaha) +3.244
  8. Andrew Irwin (Honda) +8.919
  9. Danny Kent (Honda) +9.187
  10. Danny Buchan (BMW) +9.307
  11. Peter Hickman (BMW) +9.695


Josh Brookes:
“I’m very happy to be here and back on the podium. From the start of the race, I held my position and then coming onto the start/finish on the first lap, something I guess it was a tear off or something got stuck on my leg or on my foot. I could feel this flapping and I wasn’t sure what it was, I looked down just to check it wasn’t anything serious, Glenn Irwin came past me and started to point down because obviously he could see I was looking for something and I think that was a bit of a tactic as there wasn’t anything there so I lost a few places.”


“Anyway then I actually couldn’t believe how quickly I came back, I felt really strong up until the middle part of the race and moved back up to second. I was just trying to stay with Jason [O’Halloran] and thinking about conserving the tyre a little bit, but then I was under attack and I didn’t really have a lot more to give at that point in the race, so I was just trying to hold my position and not make any mistakes.”


“As the tyre wore and got slippy I started to make some mistakes on corner entry and slipped back to fourth. On the last lap Jason looked to be slowing up, maybe with tyre wear as well, and I saw an opening, it was a clean, but a pretty forceful move. I’m glad to get the FHO Racing BMW up on the podium for the first race of the year.”


Peter Hickman:
“The weekend has probably been a little better than we expected really, Josh is obviously super-fast which is awesome and I’m super pleased for him and the team with his podium today. The shorter layout hasn’t been a great track for me over the years and it still isn’t! If we were at the big circuit I’d be right at the front.

I think if it hadn’t been for the bike in front of me dropping fluid, I rolled out and was sat ninth at the time – he was eighth. I was faster and felt like maybe I could have gone with the front group, not the front three, but I could have latched on the back of the top eight for sure, but I rolled out of it and went back to 14th/15th, as I thought I was going to crash on the fluid. After a few laps I sorted my head out and came back through the pack a little to 11th. Eighth at one point was right in front of me; I had the pace to be in the top eight and I’m more than content with that, 11th isn’t the end of the world and I’m happy enough.”


Faye Ho – Team Principal:
“What a start to the season! I’m so happy for Josh and the whole team finishing on the podium in third. It’s a credit to all the hard work everyone has put in, especially with the lack of dry track time we had during testing. Pete was showing really good pace, which is encouraging, it’s just a shame he was forced to drop back, but his lap times were strong. We have two more races tomorrow, this time slightly longer in duration with 30 laps and I’m looking forward to seeing how both Josh and Pete get on in those.”


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