BSB Brands Hatch: Joe Francis remains with FHO Racing for season finale
Joe Francis will remain with the FHO Racing BMW team for the 2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch this weekend.
Francis, who parted company with iForce Lloyd and Jones BMW earlier in the year, joined Faye Ho's team for the penultimate round at Donington Park two weeks' ago. The 23-year-old enjoyed a successful maiden weekend with the team in treacherous conditions.
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Francis out-qualified teammate Peter Hickman for the opening race of the weekend, qualifying seventh in the wet, before taking a pair of top 10 finishes. Francis ended the wet races in sixth and ninth respectively, but was forced to retire from the dry race with a technical problem.
"I am really happy to have been given another opportunity to race with the FHO Racing BMW team at Brands Hatch," Francis said. "I felt like we were making good progress at Donington Park in all conditions, and the extra time on the BMW M 1000 RR will only be a positive for me.
"I learnt a lot from the team at Donington Park, so I am looking forward to moving forward again this weekend and hopefully I can end the season with three strong finishes. I need to thank Faye and the FHO Racing BMW team for this second opportunity with them."
Meanwhile, team owner, Faye Ho, added: "Joe impressed me with his approach at Donington Park; he was working with a new team and new bike, plus he had the changing conditions to contend with and that made it even more difficult, but he worked hard and took two top ten finishes.
"I think with more time on the bike he will improve further this weekend and as a team owner I am happy to see riders making progress, and that is why I wanted to offer him another chance to ride for us."
Teammate Hickman can still mathematically win this year's BSB crown, however he is 68 points behind championship leader Tarran Mackenzie with only 75 points still up for grabs. A BMW rider hasn't won around the Grand Prix circuit at Brands Hatch since Michael Laverty in 2015.
This weekend’s action is due to begin at 12:45 on Friday (October 15) with Free Practice 1. This will be followed by FP2 at 15:50 later that afternoon.
BSB Donington: Joe Francis joins FHO Racing BMW
First published: 29 September 2021 by Josh Close
Francis left the iForce Lloyd and Jones BMW team prior to round eight of the season at Silverstone, whilst FHO Racing parted ways with Xavi Fores last week.
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Francis will line-up alongside Peter Hickman, and has previous experience on the all-new BMW M1000 RR - as well as the old S1000 RR. Francis secured a season-best result of fifth around the Donington Park National circuit earlier in the year.
“I am obviously over the moon," Francis said. "I need to thank Faye and everyone involved for giving me this opportunity to join the FHO Racing BMW team and get the chance to ride the bike at Donington Park this weekend. It is a great opportunity for me to be back on a BMW and the team have a fantastic package, so I am looking forward to getting started.
"Donington Park is always a circuit where I have had some good results and in the past, even last year, it was the circuit where I have had the best results with the BMW. I finished fifth there earlier in the year, so I am looking forward to learning with the new team as they have proven to be race winners this season.
"It will also be good for me to have Peter as a teammate too - that is a big thing; I feel that I can learn a lot and I will be looking to progress throughout the weekend."
Whilst Francis will race for the team at Donington this weekend, no further comment has been made regarding who will ride the second BMW machine at Brands Hatch.
"Following Xavi's premature departure from the team it was my intention to return to full strength as soon as possible on a race by race basis for the remainder of the season," team owner Faye Ho added. "We are pleased that Joe Francis, who has scored points this year aboard a BMW M 1000 RR, is available and he will join us initially for Donington Park this weekend."