The eighth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship was a challenging outing for the FHO Racing BMW Motorrad team over the Bank Holiday weekend, with Josh Brookes and Peter Hickman securing top ten finishes in front of a home crowd at Cadwell Park.
The weekend kicked off with a private official test on Friday evening, which saw ‘Hicky’ top the time sheets aboard the BMW M 1000 RR. However, across the weekend despite hard work from the FHO Racing squad, Pete struggled to find the same pace he’d enjoyed on Friday evening.
Across the weekends’ three races, ’Hicky’ finished ninth in the opening BikeSocial Sprint race and rounded off the top ten, in 10th place in the final race on Bank Holiday Monday, after retiring from the second race earlier in the day.
For teammate Josh, the Lincolnshire circuit also presented challenges across the weekend, where despite consistent lap times, he was unable to progress further up the pack. Leaving Cadwell with a straight set of eighth place finishes in all three races, Josh has dropped down the championship standings to seventh overall.
Faye Ho’s squad will now turn its attention to the ninth round, which takes place at Oulton Park (15-17 September), where earlier in the year the team celebrated victory with Josh in the Sprint race.
Meanwhile in the ABK Beer 0% BMW Motorrad F 900 R Cup, Richard Cooper continued his winning streak claiming his seventh win of the season. Across the weekend ‘Coopes’ topped all sessions aboard his F 900 R machine, winning the Heat 1 race and the Main Event over Thomas Strudwick by 4.299s. Teammate Kate Walker enjoyed a strong weekend, finishing the Heat 1 race in 11th, she lined up for the Main Event in 22nd and crossed the line 19th.
Race 1: 8th / Race 2: 8th / Race 3: 8th
“It’s been a far more challenging weekend than anyone thought, after the results at Thruxton you think that’s the bad luck out the way and everything is going to be better from here. On Saturday the times were quite competitive and fairly strong, there had been some rain and we topped the times in a session, which was positive, but we struggled to improve on that and in fact, it was difficult to match the previous set times. The results we had over the weekend were okay, an improvement on Thruxton, but as we couldn’t get a good lap time our position was poor on the grid each time. I can’t say exactly why we’re not performing at the level we’re expected to, I’m trying my hardest, I can assure everyone the team are working hard, but just by trying hard it doesn’t bring results. We tried something different for the last race, but it wasn’t that much better, but I was a lot closer for the earlier laps of the race and didn’t drop as far as I had in the previous races, so I feel like there were some positives for the final race. The changes we made didn’t cure my problems, but it was a good step in the right direction, so there is some sense or level of positive to come from the last race, but it’s hard to find positives when a weekend has been such a challenge.”
Race 1: 9th / Race 2: DNF / Race 3: 10th
“The weekend started off with a load of promise, P1 at the front on the Friday evening test session and it felt like we were looking good for the weekend, but we struggled to get anywhere near that pace for the rest of the weekend. It’s really odd and we don’t know why, which is the hardest thing. If you know what’s wrong you can work to fix it, but the problem is that the bike actually feels pretty good at the moment, and yet I can’t get a lap time. Josh is also in the same boat, and it’s been a super tough weekend for us both and the whole team. As a team we’re trying to keep our heads up, work together to work out solutions, and keep trying to go in the right direction. We have made improvements since Thruxton, the results aren’t showing that at the moment, but we have made a step forward. We just have to keep trying and keep trying to work it out; both myself and Josh have had the results in the past, and we both know what we’re capable of, we just need to now find that sweet spot in order to move back to where we should be.”
Faye Ho – Team Principal:
“It’s been a super challenging weekend for everyone in the team; Josh, Pete and everyone behind the scenes. We started off so well with the evening practice and then we just couldn’t improve from there. The frustrating part is we all know what both the riders are capable of, but for some reason we’re just not able to piece everything together at the moment. We have made steps in the right direction from Thruxton, but our competitors have also made steps forward. It’s very easy when a weekend hasn’t gone to plan to start nit-picking here and there, but we are a team and we go through the highs and lows together, and I know our time will come again. We move forward now to Oulton Park in a few weeks, where last time Josh took a race win and was in the mix, so hopefully is where our luck will turn.
The Superbike results didn’t go to plan, but we did have another huge success with Coopes (Richard Cooper) again in the F 900 R Cup, where he’s just dominating the series and has won all races so far. Kate (Walker) also had a good weekend in the class with strong results all weekend.”