THE FHO Racing BMW team finished Round Eight at Snetterton with two second place finishes after riders Peter Hickman and Alex Olsen scored high in their respective races.
Both riders crossed the line second on Sunday afternoon, Hickman in the final Bennetts British Superbike race of the weekend and Olsen in the Pirelli National Superstock Championship.
In a much more sombre and subdued weekend than usual, Hickman qualified ninth for Saturday’s race as team-mate Ryan Vickers lined up 23rd at his local track.
But Vickers’ race – and subsequent weekend – ended early on the first lap when he crashed out, suffering concussion which ruled him out of action for the remainder of the event.
Hickman went on to bank an eighth place where he also lined up for the start of Sunday’s race. After getting a bit caught up in the pack in the early laps, he continued to push forward, eventually crossing the line fifth.
In the final race, he started sixth and was holding positon when the safety car was deployed on lap nine. When it went in, Hickman fought his way up to fourth by the flag but the top three were then handed two second penalties for passing the safety car before it had entered pit lane, promoting him to second place and giving him his first top three of the year.
FHO Racing with Kobelco rider Alex Olsen, meanwhile, had a strong weekend in Norfolk as he qualified in second position for the Superstock race.
Getting a good start, he was running in second position when a rider behind crashed out and his machine flew across the track, just missing Olsen but wiping out leader Dan Linfoot and bringing out the safety car.
Leading the race from the restart, he ran a little wide on the eighth lap which allowed Davey Todd through into the lead and he eventually settled for second place. The result means Olsen remains third and has now moved to just 18 points behind leader Todd in the championship chase.
Peter Hickman, Superbike
R1: P8, R2: P5, R3: P2
“It’s been a strange round and we’ve had to deal with lots of very different things, including the weather which really made things tough at the start of the weekend. But even in the wet qualifying we were better than we have been and the first race wasn’t too bad, eighth wasn’t the end of the world.
“Of course, I’d have liked a win and we needed it if we wanted to make the Showdown but that was always just a slim chance anyway. In the second race, we managed to get through the pack a bit quicker and I was happy with the fifth.
“In the last one, I got caught up in the pack longer than I wanted and I also had a missed gear so ran over the grass at one point which didn’t help but we were so close at the end in fourth and then when the top three got the penalty, we were second.
“It may have been by default, but you have to be in it to win it and I was only a second off third, so I’m happy with how strong we were. On to Oulton now, let’s see if we can get some more podiums and even wins before the end of the year.”
Alex Olsen, Superstock
“My start was good, probably one of my best this year and the bike felt really strong. When the safety car came out, I had just sort of settled into a rhythm and sitting behind it for three or four laps is never good and it’s hard to get it back again, especially when you’re the one setting the pace.
“I just pushed into turn two a bit too much on lap eight, lifted the rear and had to square off which meant Davey got by. Once Davey passes it’s always hard to get it back, but I did everything I could.
“I struggled a bit with brakes but the bike is generally in a great place and second was best we could get. It’s a shame we didn’t get the win but we’ve pulled some points back in the championship, it’s now wide open with just 18 in it so let’s see what we can do in the remaining rounds.”
Faye Ho, Team Principal:
“As race weekends go, this one has been very unusual. After the devastating news on Thursday, we were all unsure what would happen but the series organisers have managed to run the best event they could possibly have achieved under such extraordinary circumstances.
“As a team, we started without Jack in Superstock this round and it was very unfortunate that Ryan crashed and ended up missing all three races. However, on the flip side it’s been very pleasing to see the huge improvements Pete made over the weekend.
“His podium in the final race comes after so many hours of hard work and late nights by the team and it was what everybody deserves after a very hard season.
“As for Alex, once again he proved he deserves to be champion with another strong race and fantastic result which now gives him a really good chance of the title.
“All in all, it’s been a very mixed weekend but our progress and improvement shows that this team never gives up, we keep pushing on and our two second places are the best way to end what has been a difficult weekend for everybody.”