THE FHO Racing BMW team picked up two more podiums as Alex Olsen continued his Superstock charge at Oulton Park while both Bennetts British Superbike riders Peter Hickman and Ryan Vickers leave feeling confident about the remainder of the year.
After a tough and dramatic weekend in Cheshire, Hickman and Vickers both return home with two points finishes apiece, as Olsen picked up a second and a third and Jack Nixon scored a point on his return from injury.
The weekend began in dramatic style on Saturday when Hickman was involved in a collision with Jason O’Halloran which took the McAMS Yamaha rider out of the race and Hickman was later disqualified from the results and handed a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s opening race.
But Race Two brought even more drama with two red flags as a number of top riders crashed. Hickman’s race almost ended early when the second McAMS machine of Taz Mackenzie crashed in front of him and he had nowhere to go and collided with him. Hickman was able to restart and eventually crossed the line 10th at the end of a tough race. His weekend concluded with a solid seventh in the final race.
Team-mate Vickers, meanwhile, was back in action after suffering a concussion at Snetterton a fortnight ago. He too was also a non-finisher in Saturday’s race following an engine blow but he was back out in action for Sunday’s races, where he found himself running strongly and ended up scoring two 13th places.
In the Pirelli National Superstock Championship, FHO Racing with Kobelco’s Alex Olsen qualified on pole for the opening race of the weekend. Despite dropping back to fourth at the start he was soon back fighting for the lead, narrowly missing out to winner Davey Todd and Charlie Nesbitt as he finished third.
Back out for race two on Sunday, he got a strong start from the second row and chased Todd all the way to the flag, finally settling for second.
Team-mate Jack Nixon meanwhile, made his return to action after breaking his collarbone at Cadwell Park in August. Despite still suffering some pain, the 2021 Junior Superstock champion rode around it to finish 15th in the opening race.
He struggled a little more in race two thanks to the hard, physical nature of the Cheshire track and eventually crossed the line 18th.
Peter Hickman, Superbike:
R1: DQ, R2:P10, R3:P7
“The good news is we made a good step forward at Snetterton and we’ve carried that forward here so for us that’s a big, big positive. We have the pace, I’ve gone faster than I’ve ever done – even in a race – which is really good. I was right in the fight for second place in that first race, I don’t think I need to say anything more about it as it’s all been said.
“In the first race on Sunday, I didn’t get the best of starts but was coming through the pack when Taz clipped kerb on the way into Hizzy’s and went down and I ran right into him, I’m really hope he is alright, I had absolutely nowhere to go, I stamped on the brake as hard as I could and tried to turn and miss but it happened so fast.
“The team did a mega job getting us back out but then there was another incident and restart and we were stuck a bit because our tyre wasn’t quite up to temperature but we gambled anyway. It didn’t pay off and we got done in the last lap when I went from seventh to 10th.
“I started the last race 10th and got a bit caught up. It happens when you’re back there. If I could’ve got away with the front boys I’d have gone with them – I definitely had the pace to be at the front and on the podium, it just hasn’t happened unfortunately.”
Ryan Vickers, Superbike:
R1: Retired, R2: 13 R3: P13
“Coming back I still wasn’t feeling 100 per cent on Friday but we made a lot of improvements and I set my fastest ever time here in qualifying – I ended up 14th but the times were so close and I was really quick so I was happy.
“Unfortunately, we had an engine blow up in race one which was a shame as we had made some really positive steps but we regrouped and came back on Sunday and once again I think we showed real improvements.
“We are taking away two solid point scoring finishes, no crashes, it’s just been a steady, solid weekend. Okay, it’s not where we want to be but not a million miles off and I believe we can keep working in a positive direction.
“The team has worked so hard all weekend and it’s clear to see the steps we’ve made in quite a few areas so it’s on to the next one and let’s see if we can have a strong end to the season.”
Alex Olsen, Superstock:
R1: P3, R2: P2
“Yeah, the weekend has been quite good all things considering! We just lost a little bit to Davey this weekend but got a second and a third – it’s not been a bad weekend.
“The pace has been ridiculous, the boys are really pushing on now in this championship, I think the lap record went four or five times!
“Hopefully we can continue to push when we get to Donington Park and try and claw some points back. We’ve still got a few races to go yet, there’s still a lot to play for. It’s a long year so yeah we’ll have another go at Donington and see if we can get some points back.”
Jack Nixon, Superstock:
R1: P15 R2: P18
“It was really nice to be back, I was excited to get back out this weekend. I was unsure what it was going to feel like to be honest, but I think overall it was never going to be easy coming back at Oulton, I may have underestimated how physical it is.
“On Saturday we managed to scrape into the points which was still quite average but I was happy to get something. In the second race I had a few moments in the middle and I struggled a bit.
“Overall, I’m not happy about the results, it isn’t the reason I or the team comes racing so we definitely have to work on this and see where we can do better next weekend. We’ll aim to make amends there.”
Faye Ho, Team Principal.
“This has been a very tough weekend up and down the pit lane – it’s been absolutely crazy to see so many coming off and I really hope everybody is okay. It has been very difficult, and I really hope Tarran and Jason are both okay – we send them both our very best wishes.
“It has been a difficult round in many ways but we have also seen some very positive improvements. Despite the tough Superbike races, both riders have made big improvements and the times have been very quick, so we know which way we need to go to improve further.
“We have also had a good weekend on the Superstock side. Alex was back on the podium in both races and is still in the championship battle. He rode well all weekend and it’s such a competitive field, to get two podiums is good.
“Jack is getting better, he’s still having some trouble with his shoulder and I know he is frustrated but these things can’t be rushed. Yes, it’s been a very tough Oulton Park but we now move on and look forward to better things at Donington next weekend.”