THE FHO Racing BMW team has vowed to bounce back after a tricky weekend in Scotland which brought a mixed bag of results for the squad’s four riders.
But Faye Ho’s team is taking away a number of positives from a weekend which brought many improvements across both the Bennetts British Superbike and the Pirelli National Superstock classes.
Superbike rider Peter Hickman started 14th on the grid for the opening race and brought his BMW M 1000 RR home 13th. But his hopes of improving in the second were dashed when he crashed out, forcing him to start the final race 19th. After a strong battle where he carved through the field, he crossed the line 12th.
Team-mate Ryan Vickers lined up 17th for Saturday’s eBay Sprint race and finished 15th. Starting from 14th in Race Two, he made up several places and was running ninth until he was knocked off track by another rider, dropping him to last. He stayed out to secure a good grid spot for the final race before retiring but unfortunately, despite a better start in the final race, crashed on lap 23.
FHO Racing by Kobelco riders Alex Olsen and Jack Nixon also had two races at the Scottish track. Olsen started and finished in fifth position in Saturday’s race, while Nixon had a tough battle on his first 1000cc race at Knockhill, crossing the line 14th.
In the second race Olsen started eighth and was able to claw back a few positions to bank another fifth, while Jack made an incredible start from 18th on the grid to cross the line ninth at the end of lap one. Unfortunately, he made a small error on lap two and crashed out, ending his weekend.
Peter Hickman, Superbike
R1: 13th R2: DNF R3:12th
“It’s been a really tough weekend, getting my head back into gear for short circuits after the TT has been a bit harder than usual, but I think the circumstances of the weekend didn’t fall to my favour.
“The first race was okay, I was 13th, not the best but 10th was only about a second and a half away and we improved the bike overnight. In Sunday’s first race I made a good start but unfortunately Andy Irwin got tagged at the hairpin and as he fell down I had nowhere to go and hit the back of him and down I went.
“I didn’t make a qualifying time so had to start the last one 19th. However, we finished 12th so we made up seven places and I was right in the battle for 10th. We have made an improvement, it’s just not really been our weekend.
“We’ve been a little bit unlucky, it’s not where any of us want to be but this is just the way things go sometimes. We will regroup and have a little break now and get our heads into gear for Brands Hatch.”
Ryan Vickers, Superbike
R1: 15th R2: DNF R3: DNF
“It was a tough round from the start, we struggled in FP1 and tried a lot of things and eventually we made a change that did improve one issue it but unfortunately when you improve one thing you normally sacrifice another couple – and that’s what happened.
“Race Two was probably my best attempt at a race, starting p15 on the grid I was up to p9 in lap 10 I think but unfortunately Tom Sykes made a move up the inside which pushed me off the track and left me stone cold last by about six seconds. I stayed out to get a fast time to get a decent grid spot for the last race then retired.
“In the final race I got a good start, but again it just wasn’t my weekend. We’ve a few weeks until the next round and then we’ll reboot and go again. I’d like to thank the team for all their hard work, it’s been a hard round but nobody dropped their head – we’ll come back fighting.”
Alex Olsen, Superstock
R1: 5th R2 5th
“Yeah, it hasn’t been too bad a weekend for me, I’m coming home from a round that’s been tough for the whole team with two fifth places so I can’t really complain too much.
“In the first race I finished where I started so I didn’t lose anything, of course I’d like to have been able to climb higher but that just wasn’t possible this weekend. In the second, I started a bit further back on the third row and I made up a few places and was just able to ride my own race to get another fifth.
“Knockhill is a strange track and I think like most other people, I’m looking forward to Brands Hatch after the break. I think we can look forward to being a lot more competitive there and hopefully we can push further forward.”
Jack Nixon, Superstock
R1: 14th R2: DNF
“I had a disappointing race on Saturday so I knew I had a lot of work on my hands in the second race. I got a really good start, I think I passed about nine people on lap one.
“But then I went to make another move but got a bit too tight to the kerb and another rider didn’t see me in time. I loaded the front a bit too much and it got to the top of the hill and it just unloaded all at once and tucked the front, a real slow crash and then I got hit from behind.
“I’m lucky to be alright, I couldn’t tell where I was actually hit because it all happened so fast but to be honest, I was lucky to get away with it. It’s a shame, I think we could’ve had a good result there, but these things happen. Massive thanks to all the team for their hard work, we’re making progress each round and looking forward to to more. Roll on Brands Hatch!”
Faye Ho, Team Principal
“Well, how can I sum up Knockhill? It’s been a very difficult round for the whole team and there have been some real up and down moments for everyone.
“Peter has struggled a bit resetting his brain to short circuit mode after the TT but he got two points finishes and I know he will be back to his best by Brands.
“Similarly, Ryan has had various issues all weekend and was unlucky to be knocked off in Race Two. Again, we will go home and look at where we need to improve.
“Well done to Alex for his two fifth places on the FHO Racing with Kobelco BMW, he’s worked hard all weekend although I know he was looking for more. Jack also showed great pace in the second race, it was just unlucky he had his first crash.
“It’s been a very busy and hectic few months, my team has now worked eight weekends in a row and are all looking forward to a little break before we reset and come out fighting again at Brands Hatch.”
The Bennetts British Superbike Championship will now take a month-long break before returning to action at Brands Hatch, Kent over the weekend July 22-24.