Eazi Grip

Josh Brookes and Peter Hickman wrap up the opening BSB round at Navarra

Peter Hickman and Josh Brookes start the first race of the 2024 season from 6th and 12th

The FHO Racing BMW Motorrad team has got the 2024 Bennetts British Superbike Championship of to a strong start, as they start tomorrow’s opening race from the second row of the grid after Peter Hickman claimed the sixth fastest time aboard his BMW M 1000 RR superbike machine.

I’m really happy with how today’s Superpole went to be honest. I’m not a one-lap person so to finish sixth and end up on the second row for tomorrow’s first race is a good result for us.

The BMW is feeling pretty good to be honest, and I’m consistent with my lap times, so that’s positive. I was probably a little too reserved on the Superpole lap, but here is such a technical circuit and with just one lap to make it count, it’s very easy to make a mistake.

So I was probably a little too reserved in the end, we maybe had a tenth or two in our pocket, but we’re still on the second row, so I’m happy enough.

The FHO Racing BMW has been working pretty good, we’ve had a good test with one bad day out of the three and today has not been bad again. I’m quietly confident so lets see what happens tomorrow.”

 Peter Hickman #60

“Today has been quite difficult, the rise in track temperature has given us some issues with grip, as the grip has dropped in general which has highlighted an area of the bike which was already on the edge of being acceptable.

On top of that, we had a new tyre in for the one Superpole lap, you have what seems to be good grip in the rear, but on a track that’s quite slippery the front isn’t able to create the balance. So I wasn’t able to load the front up as I didn’t have the grip and it sits higher in the stroke and makes the bike want to steer slower and less, which is excelerating the existing problem I already have. When I go back to the throttle as the rear is a new tyre and it’s got grip for that moment it tries to push the bike wide on exit, which means I’m using more track, so it’s a series of small issues that turn into a slower lap time than what we’ve achieved here already.

The good news is that we know what the problem is, the difficult part right now is making exactly the right changes to help. We’ve ended up in this situation due to adjusting the bike to one area, but you lose out in another – we’re in this delicate position now where we’re trying to think how we make the weakness better without changing another area that isn’t too bad. We need to keep the good bits, but try and improve the weak parts ready for the races tomorrow.”

Josh Brookes #25

A mixed opening round for FHO Racing BMW Motorrad, but plenty of positives to take from Spain

The 2024 Bennetts British Superbike Championship got underway this weekend for the first time from Circuito de Navarra in Spain, where it was a mixed weekend for the FHO Racing BMW Motorrad team and its riders Josh Brookes and Peter Hickman.

Having enjoyed a 2.5-day test at the Spanish circuit in the week leading up to the opening round, Faye Ho’s squad came into Round 1 positive with the progress they had made at the 2.42-mile circuit.

Pete started Race 1 from the second row in sixth place, after a solid qualifying session yesterday onboard his BMW M 1000 RR Superbike, however early on into the 20-lap race the road-racing ace developed arm pump, something he doesn’t normally suffer with. Across the race distance Pete tried to manage the situation and by the end of the race had managed to improve his lap times and crossed the line 12th.

For the second race of the day Pete again got a good start, but was caught up as the BSB pack all headed into the first corner. By half race distance he’d started chasing down the front group and had settled into 10th place. During the closing stages of the race Pete and his FHO teammate Josh Brookes were matching the times of the riders in the leading group, and Pete eventually finished 10th.

For teammate Josh it has been a frustrating day. After qualifying mid-pack in 12th position, he knew a solid start would be crucial for the race. Getting a good start off the line, Josh was then struck by another rider which cost him some places and while trying to make up the lost places, he crashed out of the race on the sixth lap.

Unhurt from the fall in Race 1, Josh lined up for the final race in 16th. Getting a good start once again, the Australian worked his way up through the pack across the 20 laps and had soon started the catch the BMW of his teammate. By the 11th lap the FHO Racing duo were together on track in 10th and 11th, where they took the chequered flag.

The FHO Racing BMW Motorrad team now look forward to the second round of the Championship, which takes place back on home soil at Oulton Park across the May Bank Holiday weekend (4-6 May). With a two-day test at the Cheshire circuit on 1-2 May. 

“I had a really good start in the first race, in fact both starts today have been pretty good. But in the opening laps of the first race I developed arm pump, which I don’t normally struggle with, so I changed my riding style and tried to calm myself down to be able to get rid of it, but it’s really hard to get rid of once it’s started. By the end of the race I’d managed to calm myself down and I did get rid of it and I was fast again, but by then I’d already lost time and we finished poorly in 12th. We’ve got a lot of positives from that race and what we did at the Donington test and here in the week, we are going in the right direction.

Something I have always complained about is stopping and at the moment I’m not complaining about that, it’s now some other things that are causing us issues.

For the second race I got caught up in a few things early on, which meant I couldn’t make the use of the good start I had. But overall the BMW was really good and I had no arm pump, we were just weak in a few areas. Although the results are not brilliant with a 12th and a 10th, it’s quite a positive first round from where we have been and we’re leaving Spain in high spirits”.

Peter Hickman #60

Today has been quite frustrating, the first race was very poor, I had a good start off the line but I was aggressively hit by another rider, which meant I lost a lot of places. As I tried to make up the lost places I experienced a few moments where I was close to crashing, and eventually on the sixth lap I crashed out. 

For the second race we made some changes to the bike, and it’s difficult to say if they gave us major improvements, but I managed to stay on, so that’s better than the first race! During the race I was able to make passes, I started 16th and finished 11th, so we were able to push forward to make up places. But at the moment I don’t feel like I’m taking part in the race, more that I’m like a participant and trying not to crash out, which is frustrating.”

Josh Brookes #25

“It’s been a bit of a tough weekend at times for the FHO team in Spain for the opening round. We started the week with a good test, especially as neither Josh, Peter or the team had experienced the Navarra circuit before, so the week started off with everyone learning. I think the results in the final race were positive with Pete 10th and Josh 11th, they showed good pace towards the end as their times were matching to those at the front, and I think we leave here with a lot of good data which we can carry through to the rest of the season. Some of the problems we have experienced in the past seem to have now been resolved, but of course some new problems have appeared. We now look forward to the next round at Oulton Park, a circuit we all know and one where we have had previous success at.”

Faye Ho – Team Principal

Posted on Monday, April 22nd, 2024 in News

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