The FHO Racing BMW team made their Bennetts British Superbike Championship debut in style this weekend at Oulton Park, claiming a podium finish with Peter Hickman to hold third place in the standings after the opening round of the season.
Peter started on the second row after a strong qualifying performance to put himself in with a fighting chance in the opening race of the year, running a strong pace to put him just adrift of a podium finish in a strong fourth place.
His rapid pace awarded him a front row start for the second race where he was battling in the leading group throughout the early stages before an arm pump issue caused him to lose ground. A determined effort from Peter meant he held on to claim a superb third place finish – the first for the team in the championship and also the first for the BMW M 1000 RR.
Peter took up pole position for the final race of the weekend and again showed the potential of the FHO Racing BMW by running with the front pack until later in the race when his arm pump again halted his momentum. A gritty ride culminated in a fifth place finish which means he heads into the second round with high confidence after an impressive opening round.
Xavi Forés was forced to sit out the opening round after a crash in the opening free practice session left him sidelined with a broken scaphoid in his right hand. The Spanish star has already had further assessments and is working on his recovery ahead of the next round of the season at Knockhill on July 10 – 11.
Brian McCormack continued to work on his pace as he gets to grips with the Superbike; the Roadhouse Macau by FHO Racing BMW rider claiming a best finish of 18th as he bids to score his first points of the season next time out.
In the Pirelli National Superstock Championship Alex Olsen marked his return to racing action for the first time since recovering from injury with a consistent sixth place.
Peter Hickman – British Superbike Rider Race 1 – 4th Race 2 – 3rd Race 3 – 5th
“It has been a really great weekend for myself and the FHO Racing team. It was fantastic to get not only our first podium finish in BSB, but also for the BMW M 1000 RR on its debut. It has been a really positive start to the season.
“We leave Oulton Park holding third place in the standings, which is a big achievement on our first weekend and I need to thank all of the team for their hard work.
“I am really happy but it was just a shame as I feel like I even had the potential to maybe win today, but I have been having an arm pump issue, which is unusual for me. I will obviously look at how I can get that sorted in time for Knockhill. I can’t wait to get going there now.”
Xavi Forés – British Superbike Rider DNS
“It was a very tough weekend for me, and especially tough because of how it ended before it really started. I had a crash in free practice one, I made a mistake after three laps and crashed in the wet and unfortunately it left a small break in my scaphoid. I tried to ride, but it would have been easy to make a mistake, so now I am already working to be ready for Knockhill – a track where we had some solid testing.
“I am focused on my recovery so that I can come back stronger at Knockhill. I have had further checks already – I don’t need any surgery, just physio, and recovery is all I need, so I am looking forward to getting back with the team. I would like to congratulate them all on their results today and to Peter’s for his podium finish; it is really positive at our first event.”
Brian McCormack – British Superbike Rider
Race 1 – 20th
Race 2 – 21st
Race 3 -18th
“I am really happy with the weekend and our first weekend as Roadhouse Macau by FHO Racing. You can see from Pete’s podium how strong the team is, and I am happy with my progress. We go to the circuits that suit me better so I feel like I could be fighting for points soon. It was great to see some fans back trackside and I am really looking forward to Knockhill now.”
Alex Olsen – National Superstock 100 Rider
“We started the weekend in a great place, felt comfortable on the bike and I was on the pace straight away. We worked through various setups over the weekend trying to find a good direction with the chassis setup so myself and my new crew chief could get an understanding of how the bike reacts. Going into the race we had a good setup and I felt strong. My ultimate aim this weekend was just to secure a strong enough finish to come away with points and a full race under my belt. I have not been on the grid since my huge injury nearly 10 months ago. So to finally get a good result and finish the race in 6th was a great feeling” Race 1 – 6th
Faye Ho, Team Owner
“There has been so much build up throughout the winter to be ready for this weekend, but to finish on the podium in our debut weekend is something that I could only dream about a few months ago!
“The team have done a fantastic job to get us to this point today and it is such a big achievement to claim the first podium finish with the BMW M 1000 RR. Peter did a fantastic job despite his arm pump issues during the race. He showed real fighting spirit and that puts us in a strong championship position at this early stage.
“It was obviously extremely disappointing for Xavi, however he is already working on his recovery so he will be back with us at Knockhill, where he has shown strong pace before and we look forward to him returning.
“Brian has been continuing his improvements and I feel that Knockhill might be a circuit where he could score his first points. For Alex it was great to see him back racing, and to finish in the top six was a good start to his season.”