The FHO Racing BMW team made their Bennetts British Superbike Championship debut in style last weekend at Oulton Park, claiming a podium finish with Peter Hickman to hold third place in the standings after the opening round of the season.
Hickman started on the second row after a strong qualifying performance to put himself in with a fighting chance in the opening race of the year, running a strong pace to put him just adrift of a podium finish in a strong fourth place.
His rapid pace awarded him a front row start for the second race where he was battling in the leading group throughout the early stages before an arm pump issue caused him to lose ground. A determined effort meant he held on to claim a superb third place finish – the first for the team in the championship and also the first for the BMW M 1000 RR.
Hickman took up pole position for the final race of the weekend and again showed the potential of the FHO Racing BMW by running with the front pack until later in the race when his arm pump again halted his momentum. A gritty ride culminated in a fifth place finish which means he heads into the second round with high confidence after an impressive opening round.
Hickman said: “It was a really great weekend for myself and the FHO Racing team. It was fantastic to get not only our first podium finish in BSB, but also for the BMW M 1000 RR on its debut. It has been a really positive start.
“We left Oulton Park holding third place in the standings, which is a big achievement on our first weekend and I need to thank all of the team for their hard work.
“I am really happy but it was just a shame as I feel like I even had the potential to maybe win at the weekend, but I have been having an arm pump issue, which is unusual for me. I will obviously look at how I can get that sorted in time for Knockhill. I can’t wait to get going there now.”
Team Owner Faye Ho commented: “There has been so much build up throughout the winter to be ready for the first round, but to finish on the podium in our debut weekend is something that I could only dream about a few months ago!
“The team have done a fantastic job to get us to this point and it is such a big achievement to claim the first podium finish with the BMW M 1000 RR. Peter did a fantastic job despite his arm pump issues during the race. He showed real fighting spirit and that puts us in a strong championship position at this early stage.”