Josh Brookes returned to the Donington Park podium today aboard the BMW M 1000 RR, placing third in a thrilling Race 2, despite the third round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship being a frustrating outing for the FHO Racing BMW Motorrad team.
Following yesterday’s opening race where Josh finished sixth and teammate Peter Hickman 11th, today’s longer 20-lap race saw Josh come through the pack from eighth to complete the podium in third place. The race was action packed, with the final few laps producing a close battle following the deployment of the safety car on the 12th lap.
Once the race resumed it was a frantic dash to the finish, with Josh chasing down the front group moving through the pack from sixth, to fourth and then to third on the penultimate lap. Holding strong and keeping sight of a rostrum finish, he crossed the line third, adding a further podium to his 2023 tally.
The final race of the weekend threw more challenges for the FHO Racing duo, who struggled to make any progress across the race distance and came home with Pete 11th and Josh 13th. Despite the mixed weekend the team collected vital points across the three races, where Josh now sits third in the overall standings with 114 points, and is just five points adrift of the championship lead.
Meanwhile the FHO Girls were also in action across the weekend with two HEL Performance British Junior Supersport Championship with Motocourse races. Jamie Hanks-Elliott enjoyed strong results finishing 11th and 14th, Denise Dal Zotto was 11th in yesterday’s race and finished 16th today and Scarlett Robinson come home 29th and 24th.
The FHO Racing BMW Motorrad team will now turn its focus to the Isle of Man TT Races, which takes place from 29th May – 10th June with Josh Brookes and Peter Hickman racing the iconic Mountain Course. The 2023 Bennetts BSB championship resumes on 16-17-18 June, with Round 4 at Knockhill in Scotland.
We made good progress in this morning’s warm up, so I had high hopes for the first race of the day. I got a decent start but found myself mixed up with other peoples rhythm, I lost a few places and the race wasn’t developing how I thought it would. I then found my rhythm and got the feeling with the bike and started to make some passes and started to move forward, but by that point the race had really spread out. We then had the safety car which bunched everyone up. Once the race got going again, I was trying to be apart of the action as much as possible, it was a great race and I was buzzing to be back on the podium. The last race however has finished the day on a bit of a downer, I had some brake issues, and when I tried to brake with lean angle it was vibrating and accelerated the chances of losing the front. We’ve got to put this weekend behind us a little, take the points and the podium as a positive but move forward to the next round at Knockhill and put things right there.
This weekend hasn’t turned out the way we expected to be honest. The new surface is awesome but it’s really grippy, which normally for us and the BMW is a good thing but this weekend it seems to have done the complete opposite for some reason, and to be totally honest none of us really know why. We’ve not really moved forward all weekend from the first session; the bike doesn’t feel bad and yet we’re just not fast, and we don’t know why. To be at least in the fight we needed between half a second to 0.7s and I don’t know where I could have found it, I was too far away especially on the early laps I couldn’t go as fast as everyone else. From half distance onwards, I’m similar, only actually 0.3s away from the other guys, we’re just not really getting the speed we need. We do have positives from the weekend; we finished all three races, we got points in all three races and Josh got a podium, and from here we go to the Isle of Man!
Faye Ho – Team Principal:
The weekend wasn’t what we were expecting when we arrived at Donington Park, it’s been a challenge for us all, but we have to take the positives in that we were on the podium in Race 2, where Josh did a fantastic job on our bike. Both Josh and Pete finished in the points across all three races and we’re third overall in the standings. So despite it not going the way we hoped when we arrived we are coming away with further points and another podium to celebrate. We now have a small gap between rounds, where we will come back stronger at Knockhill. But before then, we have the Isle of Man TT Races to look forward to.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, Race 2 result:
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha)
- Ryan Vickers (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) +0.347s
- Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad Team) +1.797s
- Leon Haslam (ROKiT BMW Motorrad) +2.517s
- Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki) +3.927s
- Charlie Nesbitt (MasterMac Honda by Hawk Racing) +5.690s
- Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad Team) +6.564s
- Tom Neave (Honda Racing UK) +7.408s
- Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +7.790s
- Jack Kennedy (Mar-Train Racing Yamaha) +8.153s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, Race 3 result:
- Kyle Ryde (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha)
- Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati) +1.397s
- Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati) +3.588s
- Ryan Vickers (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) +3.690s
- Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +4.999s
- Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki) +5.137s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +5.581s
- Leon Haslam (ROKiT BMW Motorrad) +9.123s
- Charlie Nesbitt (MasterMac Honda by Hawk Racing) +9.374s
- Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad) +11.351s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings:
- Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati) 119
- Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati) 116
- Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad Team) 114
- Leon Haslam (ROKiT BMW Motorrad) 110
- Kyle Ryde (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) 109
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 70
- Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki) 70
- Ryan Vickers (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) 50
- Jack Kennedy (Mar-Train Racing Yamaha) 50
- Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) 49
- Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad Team) 48