FHO Racing BMW were back on track at Snetterton yesterday for the second Bennetts British Superbike Championship Official Test, however weather conditions prevented the team from completing their scheduled three-day programme.
All of the teams opted to sit out the opening and closing day of the three-day Official Test due to cool track conditions and rain, but the team were able to utilise fully the two sessions on Wednesday to continue their development programme with the all-new BMW M 1000 RR.
The Norfolk circuit showed early promise for the team with both Peter Hickman and Xavi Forés setting a strong pace in fifth and eighth respectively on combined times, despite not firing in a time attack lap during the sessions. Peter’s best time was just 0.413s adrift of the pace-setting lap, whilst the test also marked Xavi’s return to the Norfolk track, as he reacquainted himself with the 300 circuit.
Brian McCormack also improved his pace between the two sessions on the Roadhouse Macau by FHO Racing BMW as he continues to adapt to the new BMW M 1000 RR, whilst Alex Olsen also was able to show top ten pace in the Pirelli National Superstock Championship times.
The FHO Racing BMW team continued working through their schedule, building on the experience of the opening test at Silverstone to continue refining the setting to suit the different characteristics of another new track for the new model.
The team now return to their Lincolnshire base in preparation for the next official test, which takes place at Oulton Park on May 19.
Peter Hickman P5, 1:51.461s
“The Snetterton test has been quite positive for us and although we didn’t get in as much riding as we would have liked, with two sessions yesterday, but the news is the BMW felt good straight off. If you look at the times it was pretty evident from all of the BMW teams.
“Again, it is very early days still for us and I am happy that I feel comfortable on it at another different track, so that is a big positive after some changes we made at Silverstone. Yesterday I didn’t feel like I was pushing that hard and we didn’t go for a fast lap and so it was nice to be in the top five. We had made some changes to test today to hopefully try and improve the pace again, but unfortunately that didn’t happen, so we can move on to Oulton Park where hopefully we can get some more track time in.”
Xavi Forés P8, 1:49.820s
“It was a short test here at Snetterton because of the weather. We didn’t spin as many laps as we would have liked to, but it was good for me to refresh myself with the layout of the track at Snetterton before the race later in the year.
“I was still able to get an understanding for how the BMW reacts at this circuit and it was a shame as we had made some good changes after the last test that we wanted to try here. We will now look ahead to Oulton Park to test those changes there. I am pleased though that we have been able to get on track, I stayed in the top eight and that is good for my confidence being back in this championship. I am quite happy overall and now I can look forward to the next test and learning more there with the new BMW M 1000 RR.”
Brian McCormackP24, 1m:55.056s
“I was delighted to be back with the team for this second test, despite not being able to have as much track time as we had hoped for due to the conditions. We did learn a few things with the setting so I felt quite happy with that. We didn’t look for a time as we were more focused on getting in the changes and making exits to compare the differences back-to-back. I am feeling really positive about this season already, and I just want to get to the next test now.”
Alex Olsen P9 1m:53.286s
“We haven’t done as much riding as we would have liked due to the weather but we did get in some good sessions yesterday, which we made good progress in and found a good direction for the bike. The rain came at the end of the day, which was a shame as we could have had a push on towards the end, but for me it is just important to get some track time. The team have some good ideas on what to work on when we get to the next test at Oulton Park, so I am just going to count down to that now!”
Faye Ho: Team Principal
“The test hasn’t been very productive for most of the teams, due to the poor weather conditions. But our riders seemed fairly comfortable considering the limited amount of track time they had. We had scheduled to test various parts and setups over the 3 day test, but we will now plan to work though our test plan at the next test at Oulton Park”.