FHO Racing BMW had a double celebration at Silverstone last weekend, as Peter Hickman claimed his position in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship Showdown despite a challenging weekend. Whilst in the Pirelli National Superstock Championship, Alex Olsen scored an emotional victory to get the title fight back on track.
Hickman headed to Silverstone with a comfortable points buffer over his rivals, but to be in title contention over the final three round Showdown, he had to confirm his place as a Title Fighter.
A positive qualifying session unfortunately didn’t turn into a result in the opening race as he tangled with Jason O’Halloran and crashed out at high speed with the FHO Racing BMW launched skywards. However, he would still have his status confirmed due to his advantage in the standings.
The team work hard throughout the evening to rebuild the BMW M 1000 RR and in Sunday’s races, Hickman was able to score a tenth and a twelfth place at a track that he expected to prove challenging due to his preferred tyre option not being available for this event.
Xavi Forés also had another tough weekend, scoring a single top ten finish with a ninth place in race one. The Spanish contender also finding it difficult with the regulated tyre option for the Silverstone round.
Brian McCormack meanwhile on the Roadhouse Macau by FHO Racing BMW was feeling positive following the eighth round, believing that he has made some steps forward as he still chases his first points of the season next time out at Oulton Park.
In the Pirelli National Superstock Championship, Alex Olsen returned to winning ways in race two, overcoming the demons of his huge crash at the circuit last year in style. The victory puts him within a single point of second place in the standings and 23-points adrift of the championship leader with five races remaining and a potential 125 points up for grabs.
Peter Hickman R1: DNF, R2: 10th, R3: 12th
“I knew, coming into Silverstone that it was going to be a tough one as I don’t like the feeling of the SC0 tyre we had to use at Silverstone. To be honest I qualified better than I expected and eighth was a good result. I was a little bit surprised, but the times were so close I was just lucky I got a low 53.
“In the first race, I got away well but ended up tangling with Jason, which was really unfortunate. It was a huge crash and I am sorry to the team for having to rebuild that bike. The bike was a mess but they did a great job. I went out in warm up and the bike felt identical to how it always does, so a huge thank you to the FHO Racing Team. To put a bike back together, and for it to feel exactly the same, is tough.
“I started a long way back on the grid on Sunday because of the DNF the day before. It was just an uphill battle all the way; I really struggled to pass and didn’t have the grip I needed to be able to go with the pack. I could just hang onto the group but that was all I had.
“We’re into The Showdown, so huge thanks to the FHO Racing Team. To be in the Showdown for them at the first attempt is absolutely fantastic. I’m really happy for everyone involved and all the sponsors. Let’s hope we can give them something proper to cheer for from now on.”
Xavi Forés R1: 9th, 18th, 14th
“I was really looking forward to Silverstone as our test at the start of the season went really well and I was putting in good times. But we had to run the SC0 tyre which unfortunately didn’t us the best feeling.
“We worked on trying to find a good setting for the weekend and managed to find a few positives but not enough to make a big difference. I’m now just wanting to get to the next few rounds and hopefully show some results I know I’m capable of.”
Brian McCormackR1: 18th, R2: DNF, R3: DNF
“Actually it may not look it from paper today but it has been a really positive weekend, and this has been the most comfortable I have felt. Unfortunately a few little mishaps, but I feel like we have turned a corner here this weekend so I am looking forward to the next races.”
Alex Olsen (Superstock)R1: 4th, R2: 1st
“It was a good weekend really. It was a shame about race one; we had a bit of a rough qualifying which made it a bit awkward for the race, but we settled into fourth and had a good rhythm. We ended up fourth but by the time I got to the leading pack, I didn’t really have enough tyre left to do anything.
“We put a good lap time in and started P2 for today’s race; I settled into it, and let Neave set the pace and then in the last three laps I put a pass on him, which I knew he couldn’t come back from. I then put two or three good laps in and won the race!
“To do what we’ve done at Silverstone, to get the monkey off my back, is always good! If there was anywhere I would have wanted to win, it is here. Considering the situation I was in last year, to do what we’ve done today felt good.”
Team Owner Faye Ho
“First of all it is fantastic for us to have secured a position in the Showdown with Pete in only our first season in the championship and of course with the new BMW M 1000 RR. This was always going to be a more challenging round, so we can definitely take positives away from here.
“For Alex, the win here meant a lot after his crash last year and it was a fantastic performance from him today. I am really proud of what he has achieved since he was last here racing.
“Xavi had another difficult weekend and Brian was feeling much happier on the bike, so we can look forward to Oulton Park now, where as a team, I hope that we can be fighting for the podium again in both classes.”