It’s been a frustrating weekend at Brands Hatch for the sixth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship for the FHO Racing BMW Motorrad team and its riders Josh Brookes and Peter Hickman.
The weekend started well for Faye Ho’s squad with Josh topping the opening practice session aboard the BMW M 1000 RR and in a wet qualifying he finished third, lining up on the front row for the opening race of the weekend. It was looking promising for Peter too, who had shown good pace and qualified 10th.
Conditions for the Sprint Race were less than ideal and with rain falling at the 2.4-mile circuit it was declared a wet race. On the eighth lap the race was red flagged with oil on the track and with the race result declared, Hicky with eighth and Josh 12th after dropping back down the pack.
Today’s two races took place in very different conditions and with the sun shining down at the Kent track, the first race of the day saw the FHO duo finish in the points with Josh ninth and Pete 12th.
For the final race of the day, lady luck was not on the teams’ side as Josh crashed out on the opening lap at Paddock Hill Bend through no fault of his own. Adding to FHO’s frustrations, Hicky retired on the 11th lap while running 14th with brake issues.
The FHO Racing BMW Motorrad team now look forward to the next round of the championship which resumes at Thruxton on 11-13 August.
Meanwhile in the ABK Beer 0% BMW F 900 R Cup Richard Cooper made it five wins from five as he continues to dominate the class. Teammate Kate Walker also enjoyed her best weekend so far in the class, where she was awarded the BMW F 900 R Cup Rider of the Day award.
“The weekend started out well and it was looking promising, we topped the first practice, the pace and everything was consistent throughout practice and even in qualifying we had a last-minute shower and we were on the front row for the first race. But then it seemed everything turned bad and sour. The first race, I can only imagine we had a bad tyre or something as the bike just didn’t perform in wet conditions, we got a poor result, which meant I had a bad position on the gird for the dry race today. I made up a couple of places, but not enough to be satisfied. We tried to make something of the final race, but I got squeezed in the first turn, which ended up in a crash – so I have nothing really good to take away from the weekend. We’re frustrated, annoyed all the emotions you can have. We’ll now regroup ahead of Thruxton and hope we can turn it around there.”
“Coming off the back of the last few rounds, the aim this weekend was to not crash the bike, finish all the races and to be inside the top 10 – we almost did it! We were ninth on combined times after practice which was fine and I was quite happy with that, I was only 0.4s off my best time here, so was somewhere near to where we should be. When the rain came, we had an okay wet setting and ended up 10th on the grid. The first race was completely wet and apart from one major moment, which I managed to stay on somehow, we finished eighth which was decent enough and I was content with that. It wasn’t where I wanted to be, but I needed to build on racing as Snetterton was just a disaster. Coming into today, we started the first race but struggled with rear grip and very quickly went backwards to 15th and I managed to claw my way back to 12th at the end. For the last race we made a change, and the BMW was a lot better for the race, but unfortunately we had a brake problem, a different one this time, which is no one’s fault, it is just what it is. It was there from lap one and just got worse and it meant I couldn’t hold the front brake, so I had to pull in. It’s a real shame as I was a bit faster in that race, and everyone was a bit slower, and we weren’t too back from that group in front.”
Faye Ho – Team Principal:
“Well, this weekend hasn’t been the weekend we wanted, we showed promise and both Josh and Pete had good pace at the start of the weekend, but for some reason it just didn’t come together for us in the races. I always say to the team ‘we win together, and we lose together’. We’re going to have bad weekends but it’s how you deal with them, we have a very strong team and I know we’ll come back fighting, we just need some luck to be on our side at the next round. Josh is still holding fourth in the championship standings, so we’re still in contention for the title. Pete was back to his old self at the weekend and was showing good pace in the opening stages – we will just now regroup and focus on the next round in a few weeks at Thruxton. I have to mention Kate, as I am so pleased for her getting the Rider of the Day award, she’s been progressing really well and it’s great to see her being recognised for her hard work and dedication.”