HICKMAN EDGES CLOSER TO SHOWDOWN SPOT AT SNETTERTON

FHO Racing BMW

Peter Hickman edged closed to securing the FHO Racing BMW team a position in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship Showdown at Snetterton, moving to within a single point of having his Title Fighter position confirmed ahead of this weekend’s decider at Silverstone.

Peter set the pace during the opening free practice sessions on Friday, leading the field for FHO Racing BMW as he carried his momentum from a winning weekend last time out at Cadwell Park. However, his fastest lap in SUPERPICKS Qualifying was hampered by a slower rider on line, and that meant he would start on the second row in fifth position.

In an incredibly close opening race, Hickman was able to score valuable points for his Showdown bid in seventh, following up with another top ten finish in race two as he gained ground for his bid to secure a place as one of the eight Title Fighters for the final three round championship battle.

However a problem on the grid in race three meant he started from the back of the grid and after moving up the order the race was red flagged for a crash, meaning it would then be a five-lap dash to the chequered flag. A hard-fought seventh place was an impressive performance following the earlier problem and now he heads into this weekend’s action at Silverstone determined to add to his podium tally.

Xavi Forés meanwhile was hunting a return to the top ten as the Spaniard continued to push to close down his rivals, and is hoping that Silverstone will prove to be a stronger track for him in just a few days’ time.

Brian McCormack on the Roadhouse Macau by FHO Racing BMW had a challenging weekend, which he will be aiming to bounce back from next weekend at Silverstone. 

In the Pirelli National Superstock Championship, Alex Olsen again showed his title-contending pace, securing second in the grid in Qualifying and missing out on pole position by just 0.210s. 

In the race, Alex got off to a lightening start, and was battling at the front of the pack; however an unfortunate technical problem forced him to retire after four laps. The no point score now means he heads into next weekend’s round at Silverstone determined to claw back a 30-point deficit to the top of the standings.

Peter Hickman:
R1: 7th, R2: 10th, R3: 7th

“It was a strange weekend for us really! On Friday, it was mega and we had great pace and again on Saturday, but it all went wrong from there for some reason. It seemed like something had changed, and I developed a lot of chatter. 

“On Sunday we made some changes to try and fix it and it was slightly better, but we made more changes for the last race and then there was something out of place and the team put that right for the final race. 

“The bike felt mint again, but for some reason it kind of stalled on the grid and I then had to start from the back of the grid. After that I had a good start and it felt like it did on Friday again – I felt strong. I was eleventh in a few laps so was coming through the pack before the red flag. We could run with the front boys, we were there in the mix and the podium was right in front of us. 

“We know why the weekend went the way it did, we have learnt from it and can move on to Silverstone now, where I will be ready to secure the place in the Showdown.”

Xavi Forés
R1: 12th, R2: 16th, R3: DNF

“We made a big improvement on the set up of the bike and I was much faster than the previous races with my lap time and I was trying to stay on the pack. I was with them but unfortunately I made a mistake and was holding the brake too long and then crashed. 

“The feeling was good, and it was there so I feel that we are in a good position for Silverstone. Step-by-step we are getting there, and I was smiling under the helmet as I was feeling better on the FHO Racing BMW. I think we can be much closer next weekend.”

Brian McCormack:
R1: 21st, R2: 22nd, R3: DNF

“It wasn’t a great weekend for me as I was struggling with an old injury. It was a bit of a weekend to forget in all honesty, but I am looking forward to Silverstone because the team have been working so hard that I really want to score those championship points!”

Alex Olsen (Pirelli National Superstock Championship)
R1: DNF

“It was a big shame about the race, but the weekend has gone really well so we can take some positives. Free Practice we had a new engine and then we continued to make steps forward with the set-up and I was feeling really comfortable.

“We found quite a lot of pace in qualifying and it was really close and under the lap record, so I was feeling confident. In the race, I settled in and I noticed a little issue and had to retire. I am going to do everything I can to get the points back at Silverstone.”

Team Owner Faye Ho:

“It was a more difficult weekend at Snetterton than we had at Cadwell Park, but we can definitely take some positives into Silverstone in a few days’ time and we can look forward to that.

“The biggest thing was that Pete showed his pace and of the FHO Racing BMW to be fast in practice and qualifying, and he was so close to confirming his Showdown place, so that is obviously the first focus now for next weekend.

“Alex was unlucky to have a problem, but we will get to the bottom of the issue and I am sure he will bounce back at Silverstone next weekend as he really wants to try and make up those points. 

“Xavi has been getting faster and closer to where we all want to be, which is positive on his side of the garage, and unfortunately Brian had a struggle with an old injury. 

“We now just need to keep pushing on and strive to be back on the podium at Silverstone.”

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