THE FHO Racing BMW team left the opening round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship looking forward to the rest of the season after getting its worst track out of the way.
Despite concerns it would be a difficult round for Superbike riders Peter Hickman and Ryan Vickers, both riders banked three finishes – with Hickman picking up three strong points scores.
Having described the weekend as ‘one of survival’ before he arrived, Hickman managed to bag an 11th, a ninth and a seventh in the races, as Vickers bagged two points finishes in his debut race weekend for the team.
And in the Pirelli National Superstock Championship, Alex Olsen bounced back from being taken out while leading Saturday’s race to take second in Sunday’s, while Jack Nixon scored an impressive fifth and a sixth in his first weekend on the BMW M 1000 RR, ending the weekend as top rookie.
Peter Hickman – Superbike
R1: 11th R2: 7th R3: 9th:
“Overall, I’m quite pleased with the weekend to be honest, we knew it was going to be a tough one but we’ve got a fairly decent bunch of points in each race which is exactly what we wanted. Coming away with a seventh, a ninth and an 11th – I’m quite happy to take that considering where I felt we would’ve been.
“We didn’t qualify too well but overall I’m happy. The team has made a good step forward with some feel for me on this harder tyre which I don’t particularly like and we’ve actually done a decent job.
“We haven’t done amazing, but we’ve done well enough for round one and now we can move on to Oulton Park.”
Ryan Vickers – Superbike
R1:14th R2: 13th R3: 19th
“Overall it’s been a tough weekend, we’ve shown some good pace in some sessions but we’ve always got to the same point and struggled to go any quicker and make any further progress.
“We tried a lot of different things but we didn’t really make any progress until race two where we did make a considerable jump in terms of race pace. But in the final race, I just couldn’t do anything, it was a really, really difficult one, for some reason we had no grip but that’s been the issue all weekend.
“We’ve tried our best, managed to get points in two races and we can just move on from here. I’ve got loads of laps on the bike, I’m comfortable I learnt a lot and we’ll take lots away and move on to Oulton Park.
Alex Olsen – Superstock
R1: DNF R2: 2nd
“It was a tough start to the weekend as we had a bit of a technical problem in free practice but once we got to the bottom of that we qualified well. I’d put some good times in and we’d done a bit of a race run on the tyre so knew we’d be good in the later stage of the races.
“Race one started well and I was out in front trying to maintain the gap behind but unfortunately it came to an end through no fault of my own, which gave the boys a bit of work to do.
“In the second one I didn’t want to go too soon or use the tyre up too early so we sort of settled into a rhythm and maintained the pace and tried to be consistent. Unfortunately we couldn’t bridge the gap to the winner but all in all not a bad weekend.
Jack Nixon – Superstock
R1: 5th R2 6th:
“We didn’t know what to expect coming into this race, so for us to come away with a fifth and sixth is really good. I’ve been top rookie all weekend too, so I’m really happy about that.
“We seem to be working really well as a team as well which is great and will stand us in good stead moving through the season.
“I’d like to think it’s been a good transition to the bigger bike. To be honest, I think I’ve adapted quite well and I’m really happy. The team has helped me quite a lot as well so it’s all looking fairly good moving forward. I’m joint fourth in the championship so I can’t be too upset with that!”
Faye Ho, Team Principal
“This was always going to be a tough weekend for us but I am very pleased with how it’s gone. The team has worked tirelessly all weekend and it’s been clear to see in the results.
“Peter was expecting a much harder one and he ended up with three solid points finishes which at a track that does not work for him, he has to be pleased with. Ryan had a few grip issues but he’s worked very hard and is quickly adapting to life in the team.
“I’m also very proud of my Superstock boys. Alex was so unlucky to be taken out of the lead in the first race but came back determined to make amends and he did, getting second. As for Jack, he’s made a fantastic start and adjusted very well to the new bike.
“All in all, we leave Silverstone feeling happy. We’ve had no major incidents or drama and now we have got what was always going to be our worst round out of the way, we can really look forward to the rest of the year.”