The FHO Racing BMW team had a consistent weekend to open the Bennetts British Superbike Championship Showdown at Oulton Park as Peter Hickman claimed a brace of top five finishes, with the Lincolnshire rider reducing the advantage to the top of the standings by 13 points ahead of Donington Park next weekend.
Hickman had a tough qualifying session in the mixed conditions, but unfazed he worked his way through the pack to be back in the top five in the opening race of the weekend, the fourth of the eight Title Fighters in contention for the championship.
In race two, Hickman followed up with another fifth place to add more crucial points to his championship tally, finishing the final race of the opening Showdown weekend in fourth place courtesy of moving forward a position after Tarran Mackenzie received a three-second penalty.
The top five finishes means Hickman heads into next weekend’s penultimate round at Donington Park maintaining fifth place in the overall standings, but now 43 points adrift of the championship leader with a maximum of 150 points still available.
In the Pirelli National Superstock Championship, Alex Olsen moved back into second in the standings with a podium finish in the opening race of the weekend, following it up with a mature ride in race two to score a sixth place finish. The results moved him back up into second in the overall standings and now just 20 points adrift of the championship leader with three races remaining.
R1 – 5th, R2: 5th, R3: 4th
“Overall it has been a good weekend for the FHO Racing BMW team. We started the weekend really strong, and were second at the end of Friday. Then on Saturday morning the weather really changed and I struggled with the mixed conditions, not entirely sure why, I just couldn’t find the feeling that I wanted, but a second would have put us on the front row instead of row four. It wasn’t what we needed and that put us a long way back for the first race.
“I didn’t make the best first lap and that made it really hard. I had the pace to be at the front but it just didn’t materialise, so finishing in fifth wasn’t too bad considering.
“In race two I started on the front row and got away well and then got caught up with a weird situation with Christian Iddon where it looked like there was smoke coming off his bike and I thought it was oil so I backed off a bit. It then made me go backwards to fifth or sixth and then I struggled to recover after that. I felt like I had the pace to do what we needed to, to be on the podium but it just didn’t happen.
“In race three I started tenth, which wasn’t ideal, but the same story as I felt we had the pace to be at the front. It was our best result of the weekend because of Taz’s penalty put him back a few seconds. Fourth in the end wasn’t the best result but it wasn’t the worst either. We will take the positives and move on to Donington Park where we broke the lap record a few weeks’ ago and see what we can do there.”
Roadhouse Macau by FHO Racing BMW
R1: DNF, R2: 18th, R3: 20th
“It wasn’t the best of weekends, but we took home some finishes and we keep learning. I really enjoyed the weekend and the whole team have been working hard. I am looking forward to Donington Park and a track that I really like as Oulton Park is a bit of a tough one for me.”
Pirelli National Superstock Championship
R1: 3rd, R2: 6th
“The weekend started well for us and I ended qualifying in fifth place in mixed conditions. I had a good race one with a podium and we had a small technical issue, which just hindered us from fighting for the lead but we ended up with third and that got us back some points. We made some changes for race two and I got a good start and I had the same issue, so I salvaged some consistent points and all in all we gained some back. Now we have 20 points to the Tom at the top of the standings so we are looking forward to going again at Donington Park next weekend.”
Team owner Faye Ho
“The first Showdown round seemed to show some unpredictability and that has allowed Pete to be consistent and make up some ground at Oulton Park, which means we can go to Donington Park still in the fight – we have seen that anything can happen this season!
“In the Superstock class, Alex rode a very mature race to not only get back on the podium, but also to score valuable points when he needed to and that means he is still in a good position in the championship standings ahead of next weekend.
“Brian has always found Oulton Park a difficult track, so hopefully he can move on to Donington Park now and push on again.”