ALL-NEW FHO RACING TEAM TO TAKE ON 2021 BENNETTS BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP AND INTERNATIONAL ROAD RACES WITH BMW BACKING
FHO Racing is an exciting new three-rider, BMW Motorrad-supported team created by Macau entrepreneur Faye Ho, to attack some of the world’s toughest motorcycle events - the Bennetts British Superbike Championship and the International Road Races.
Faye Ho has made a commitment to the sport with her latest venture, stepping up from motorsport enthusiast to team owner, having previously supported a number of riders and teams in her native Macau Grand Prix event. As an international businesswoman, she currently divides her time between business and charity work in Macau, Hong Kong and the UK, and has a self-confessed love of racing.
The new team is formed from foundations of the successful Smiths Racing operation, which ceased competing at the end of this year, and utilises many of its experienced technicians and equipment.
Equipped with the highly-anticipated 2021 BMW M 1000 RR Superbike, the first M model from BMW Motorrad that was announced just last month, the FHO Racing BSB line-up features the world’s fastest road racer, Peter Hickman, alongside World Superbike podium finisher Xavi Fores.
The team will also line up in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship, signing Alex Olsen who returns from injury to pilot the ‘M’ in the production-based series.
Peter Hickman, who has previously been a long-time Smiths Racing rider, is enthusiastic about approaching the new season with FHO Racing and excited to begin the development of the new M machine for both short circuits and the roads. Hickman is a previous BSB race winner with BMW and returns for 2021 motivated to return to the top step of the podium.
The Lincolnshire rider will also continue to compete in the major international road races and after the cancellation of the road racing events this year due to the pandemic, the Isle of Man TT lap record holder and five-time winner will be looking to add to his impressive record in 2021.
For Spanish star Xavi Fores, it’s a case of ‘negocios inconclusos’ (unfinished business) as he returns to the British Superbike Championship after a strong year in World Superbikes. The multiple European Champion took four podiums in BSB when he competed in 2019, despite having never ridden most of the challenging UK circuits before, so he will be much more prepared this time around. The Valencian is no stranger to ultra-competitive racing having previously raced in MotoGP (125cc, Moto2 and MotoGP classes), World Supersport and World Superbikes.
Alex Olsen made his full time Superbike debut with Smiths Racing this season but suffered injuries in a practice crash at Silverstone. He now has a long period of preparation to get back to race fitness for a full Superstock campaign to add to his two wins in this competitive class.
FHO Racing Team Owner Faye Ho
“I’ve always loved motorsport and bike racing in particular, so when the opportunity arose to take over from the Smiths team, it seemed the ideal opportunity to get involved. I first supported motorcycle teams at the Macau Grand Prix in 2009 and the next year we claimed the victory with Stuart Easton and the PBM squad. What struck me immediately with two-wheeled racing was the excitement and passion; it is a huge challenge that the teams and riders take on each time they are on track.
“When I came back to the UK, I witnessed the thrill of the Isle of Man TT and the level of professionalism and competition of the BSB series. When we heard the Smiths team were withdrawing, and having got to know Alan and Rebecca Smith, the team owners, in Macau, it felt like perfect timing to help step in to build a new team. I’m just so excited to get going, this is probably the biggest challenge I’ve ever undertaken and ultimately we have the desire to want to win races!”
“This is an exciting time for me, the team and I think racing in general as we gain a passionate new team owner in Faye. I’ve known Faye for a few years as a generous supporter of racing in Macau and most importantly she wants to win! I’ve had an awesome four years with the Smiths Racing team, we’ve grown together as a group, been successful in BSB and on the Roads, so now I think we can build on that and take it to a new level. After such a bad year globally, it’s so positive to have a new team and sponsor enter the arena.”
“I enjoyed my time in BSB but maybe not so much in WSB last season, so to come back with such a high level team is a chance for me to sort some unfinished business in the championship! The level of competition, machinery and the support from the fans in Britain is incredible and I must say really surprised me to start with. When I raced here in 2019 I had never seen these tracks and many were very tricky to beat experienced regular riders, but now I feel confident that with one year of experience and better preparation, we can do much better. I have been in contact regularly with Faye, she is very motivated, and the project is very strong to give us the tools to fight at the front.”
“I feel I haven’t had a chance to show my full potential but now I’ve been given another chance. I’m healing up well and we’ve got a long winter, probably the longest ever, so it gives me plenty of time to prepare. The Superstock series is a perfect transition for me to challenge for wins next season and hopefully fight for the title. I’m excited about Faye taking over the team and the spec of the new M 1000 RR is looking amazing for the class.”
FHO Racing Team Manager Darren Jones
“This is a great opportunity to build a new team but use all the important foundations of the Smiths outfit, bringing in additional expertise to strengthen what needs improving. Faye has sponsored the Smiths team, watched from afar and is now relishing the chance to go racing herself as a team owner.
“I’m really excited to be working with someone of Xavi’s calibre and obviously we missed a year on the Roads which we know Peter is the benchmark for, so fingers crossed for the 2021 schedule. Superstock is new for us and Alex has the time for recovery to return ready to fight for the championship, while we develop this awesome new ‘M’ machine for both racing disciplines.”