THE FHO Racing BMW team left round two of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship with three top 10 finishes for Peter Hickman after a tough weekend at Oulton Park.
The championship headed to the Cheshire circuit over the Bank Holiday weekend, with one race on Sunday and two on Monday for the BSB riders along with a Pirelli National Superstock Championship race for the FHO Racing with Kobelco squad.
Peter Hickman managed to salvage what was a tough weekend by scoring three solid points finishes with a fifth in race one, an eighth in the second and a ninth in the third.
Ryan Vickers, meanwhile, banked a 14th in Sunday’s race, a 12th in the second but was forced to retire after one lap of the third with a mechanical issue.
In Superstock, Alex Olsen had a very strong race and led much of the battle but was denied a win or podium when he ran out of fuel while leading the final lap. He managed to salvage fifth and a haul of points – along with a new lap record with a time of 1min 35.988secs.
Rookie Jack Nixon, in just his second weekend in the championship and the team, battled through his own small issues on track to cross the line 13th.
Peter Hickman – Superbike
R1: 5th, R2: 8th R3: 9th
“It’s been an up and down weekend really. We had a bit of a dodgy qualifying but we ended up fifth and I was happy enough with that. In race one, we did okay. I was up with the front group and I would say I was in the fight for second. I was in fifth and with a few laps to go was just about to start making some headway and unfortunately the red flag came out but that’s the way things go.
“In the second race I didn’t really feel comfortable initially and went backwards a little bit. The safety car came out while I was sixth looking at fifth and after that I struggled and ended up eighth. In the last one, I just got a bad start, we had a bit of a problem and went backwards and then it was a constant battle.
“We ended up ninth which was the best I could do. It wasn’t ideal but it’s three top 10s, three points finishes and we move on.”
Ryan Vickers – Superbike
R1: 14th R2: 12th R3: DNF
“The weekend didn’t start too bad and we have improved every session we’ve been on track – even in warm up we found something more and we’ve been moving forward. To be fair, with a new team and bike you can’t expect to come straight in and be winning, we’re all still learning and we’re getting there, I know we’re not far away.
“Because we’re still learning, the weekend seems to start a bit slower but when we start hitting the ground running we will get a better qualifying and then that will change our positions the whole weekend. It wasn’t the weekend we wanted but I’m still leaving feeling positive and looking forward to Donington Park.”
Alex Olsen – Superstock – 5th
“The weekend was good actually, the team has worked hard. We made some changes before warm up and went faster than in qualifying so we knew we’d gone in the right direction.
“I had a plan to get to the front try stop Billy (McConnell) running away with it and that’s what we did – until the last lap when we hit the problem and it slowed us down. We ended up finishing fifth but we did set a new lap record so that was great.
“I had a big moment on the last lap and it made my airbag suit go off which meant I couldn’t breathe so I was pleased to get over the line. It’s a shame we weren’t on the podium but I do feel happy with our pace and progress.”
Jack Nixon – Superstock – 13th
“I did struggle a bit in the race, we had we made a tiny change and it really kind of upset my bike and rhythm. I made a few places up on the first lap and then had a few moments so we just struggled in terms of setup a little.
“Other than that I’d say it’s been a positive weekend. We’ve learnt quite a lot as a team. I knew it would be tricky here at Oulton and it’s my first time here on a big bike so we couldn’t ask for too much but I think overall, to come away with more points, more information for next time, we have to be pleased.”
Team Principal, Faye Ho:
“It hasn’t been the best of weekends in terms of results but these things happen and I can’t fault the hard work everyone has put in. There was, however, a miscalculation of fuel with Alex’s bike and as a team we can only apologise to him for letting this happen and vow to learn from this and move on.
“I know Peter was disappointed with his results but at the end of the day he scored three top 10s which is a solid haul of points. Ryan was disappointed not to break the top 10 but he is continuing to learn and we know he will come back stronger at the next round.
“Jack is also coming along very well. Again, he may not have had the results he deserved – I don’t think anyone did this weekend – but we’ll put it behind us and move on. I can’t wait to get my team back together at Donington Park where we will be coming out fighting.”