Josh Brookes is already turning his attention to the 2024 British Superbike Championship after a bruising end to an otherwise positive first season with FHO Racing.
The double BSB champion made a high-profile switch from Paul Bird Motorsport to Fayo Ho’s eponymous factory BMW-backed team for a 2023 racing campaign that included both BSB and a return to the Isle of Man TT.
A relationship that began in style with two wins from the opening two rounds, Brookes established himself as a title contender early on but would see his form slip during the middle portion of the year.
Though he’d retain an outside chance of winning the title right up to the Brands Hatch finale, a painful crash during Friday practice would set the tone for a difficult end to the year, the Australian ending it seventh overall.
“It’s been difficult this weekend, it’s been hard to evaluate the bike and confirm settings with any changes we made,” he said.
“It started raining just before qualifying and we had to go out in the wet and I had high expectations to achieve something good in that one. However, the bike stopped and I didn’t get a qualifying time, so had to start the first race from 18th.
“I made good progress in the race and ended up seventh, which doesn’t sound great but it’s a good improvement from 18th on the grid! We made some changes for this morning’s warm-up, and it was really cold, so again we couldn’t evaluate any of those changes.
“We got a fairly good start and just faded a little towards the end of the race and lost a few positions, which was quite frustrating. In the final race, we had strong pace early on and were in the bunch with the leading riders, but again faded towards the end and lost some speed.
“I’d like to thank everyone; all the supporters, the team sponsors, the fans – everyone who has put something into the team and hopefully next year we can get some better results and fight for the championship.”
FHO Racing has confirmed Brookes will remain with the team for the 2024 BSB season.