The FHO Racing BMW team again showed their potential to fight for podium finishes at the second round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Knockhill last weekend, however Peter Hickman’s momentum was hampered by bad luck in Scotland.
A strong performance from the Louth rider throughout practice and qualifying saw him claim a second row start in fourth place, just 0.229s adrift of the pole-setting lap. The FHO Racing BMW rider was in the battle for a podium finish in the opening race before a technical problem on the final lap forced him to retire.
Hickman fought back strongly in both of the races on Sunday; setting a strong pace to be within the leading group before ending race two in seventh place, following a stunning save at turn one after an off track moment dropped him down the order.
In the final race of the weekend, Hickman was again battling for a podium finish, running in second place earlier in the race before contact on the twelfth lap at the Hairpin unsettled his rhythm and dropped him down the field, ending the race in eighth position.
Xavi Forés meanwhile was declared unfit for the Knockhill event following a medical assessment with the Championship’s Chief Medical Officer. A two-week check X-ray showed a fracture of the scaphoid bone in his right wrist. The Spanish rider was subsequently advised on immobilisation and plans to have specialist treatment.
Brian McCormack on the Roadhouse Macau by FHO Racing BMW also had a challenging weekend, one that he is determined to come back stronger from at the next round of the season at Brands Hatch.
In the Pirelli National Superstock Championship, Alex Olsen improved on his qualifying performance from the opening, round to start from the fourth row of the grid in 11th position. The opening race saw the FHO Racing BMW rider move up the order through the pack to claim a strong seventh place finish. However, in the second race he was involved in an incident with another rider which left him crashing out of contention.
Peter Hickman DNF, 7th, 8th
“It was a disappointing weekend really as we definitely showed that we had more than the results show. We had the pace for the podium, which was obviously good, but it just wasn’t meant to be at Knockhill and that is a big shame for the whole FHO Racing BMW team. Everything that could have gone against us went against us, but I feel that we deserved better, but this is how racing goes sometimes.
“We have to take the positives that we were fast and competitive from the start and if it had gone differently, we would have definitely been fighting for the podium again. We will regroup and come back stronger at Brands Hatch and I just want to thank everyone for all their support – it has been amazing.”
Brian McCormackDNF. 20th, DNF
“It wasn’t a great weekend for me unfortunately as I picked up a stomach bug on Saturday and although I thought I felt better, I just struggled in the races. I couldn’t continue in the third race. We will put Knockhill behind us, and move on to Brands Hatch, where I know the FHO Racing BMW will be back fighting for where we should be. Roll on round three!”
Alex Olsen 7th, DNF
“The weekend started really well in free practice, we were second in FP1 and then we were second on the combined times after the first two sessions, just got pipped right at the end! In Qualifying we just didn’t quite manage to find that little bit extra, but there was only 0.4 of a second between myself and pole positon so was really close!
“In race one, the start was good and I got a bit boxed in on the first lap, but fought my way through to finish seventh and that got us a good grid position for race two. I got a really good start in the second one and was settled in the top five, but unfortunately I got taken out by another rider, which bought the race to an abrupt end! We take the positives though and looking forward to my home round at Brands Hatch which is coming up next!”
Faye Ho: Team Principal
“It was a weekend where we can take positives of knowing that as a team we had the pace to be fighting for the podium in both the Superbike and Superstock classes, and the results on paper really don’t reflect the performances from the event.
“Pete did another great job and showed that he had the pace to be fighting for the podium again, and I think if we had not experienced a few issues, then I believe he would have replicated his Oulton Park performance.
“Brian was not feeling one hundred percent, but I would like to see him back at Brands Hatch trying to score his first points of the season, whilst Alex showed his potential in the Superstock class, and was just unfortunate to have been sidelined in race two through no fault of his own. We will continue to work hard as a team to come back stronger at Brands Hatch.”