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BSB: FHO Racing Interview | Faye Ho is aiming for the top!

We spoke with FHO Racing boss Faye Ho a short time ago about the 2021 BSB season, Macau, & starting a new motorcycle racing team, here’s what she had to say

Faye Ho FHO Racing 2021 Interview

FHO Racing is a new team formed for the BSB 2021 season, taking the place of the Smiths Racing team. We were lucky enough to speak to Faye Ho to chat about the coming 2021 season, the new BMW M1000RR, and find out which circuit Faye is looking forward to visit the most!

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Congratulations, first of all, for starting FHO Racing, you must be incredibly excited for the season to get underway! What’s the story behind FHO Racing starting up? 

Yes, I am! Having a superbike team is something I’ve had in my head for a while, but really for the last 2 years. I’ve been in the BSB paddock during 2018/19 with another team, and I absolutely love it. It’s been in my mind for a while that I want to be involved with a superbike - because every time the superbikes come around I’m always like “ah, I love it, can I be on the grid? Take me on the grid!”

So when this opportunity came up, quite early in the season last year - it was just a conversation at the time - I thought to myself, ‘interesting, there might be something there’.

From then, towards the end of the season, things really started moving along. I mean from October until now, I had to get my stamp on everything - so we have a new workshop, new livery (that ex BSB Champ Tommy Hill is designing), everything is going to be in my colours, my logo. So it’s looking good, and the boys have been working hard too I have to say, and we’re really looking forward to this year's racing!

From what I've seen, it’s all looking really good! We haven’t had the chance to see the full bike yet, but from the sneak peeks it’s looking incredible. 

Yeah, it is - they’ve done a really good job with it. For me, I like everything to be uniform and flowing, so when everything is actually announced and out it’s going to look mega. 

When can we see the final bike unveiled?

I can’t give you a date yet, but I can let you know it will be just before testing. We’ll see it before then, so keep your eyes peeled!

You’ve got a cracking team put together, so what are the goals, what would a successful first season look like for FHO Racing?

Wow, well, I’d say podiums, wins - two bikes on the podium would be mega for me. I have to be realistic, but ambitious. 
Everyone wants to win, I want to win, and we’ll have to see how it runs. But the boys are all putting themselves into it, all training, and we’re all working well together - so let’s see what happens. But I’m putting everything into it!

Brilliant! How are you finding your first foray into the BSB as a team boss?

Well, I can say I’m learning every day, but I like a challenge and to be involved with putting across my ideas on how we can improve the team. I like to learn about the bike and ask a lot of questions, too. It’s something that I’m so interested in, and I’m really enthusiastic going into it - I don’t want to be just standing on the side, I want to be involved in everything. It’s fun, I’m really looking forward to it!

In the previous two years, I’ve done the odd thing, like tyre warmers, I’ve done a pit stop for a team in the TT in 2018. I’m not scared to be hands-on!

It’s your first season, but what would you say your long term goals are? Do you have eyes on the WorldSBK in a good few years, or even Moto2 or Moto3?

Never say never! I don’t know yet, there could be a possibility. I do like bike racing, but obviously, I want to establish myself in British Superbikes first, and then see where it goes. But in the meantime, I’m putting my energy into British Superbikes. 

As well as the team in the BSB season (with Peter Hickman and Xavi Fores), how important is it going to be that you have Alex Olsen and Brian McCormack riding for you in other races?

Brian enjoyed the BSB last year, so he wanted to go back to that. Alex was very strong on the stocker 1000 in ’19, so I wanted a rider in that class too - I guess that’s why I put him in there this year! We’ll have to see how they perform, but I think they’ll have a chance to do well. 

How important would you say the Macau Grand Prix is for you?

The Macau Grand Prix is really important to me, as that’s where it all started. As a little girl, at 6 years old, my grandparents used to take me to my grandfather’s sisters every year, as they had a house on the circuit - so we’d go there every year to watch the Grand Prix. Obviously, it’s my hometown, and that’s where I got introduced to bike racing, so Macau is very special to me. 
This year, hopefully they’ll run the race. I think to go back with my own team that’s been racing on British soil in British Superbikes is very special. Peter and Brian will be my riders for Macau, so I’m looking forward to it - it’s a way off, but it’s something I’m really looking forward to. 

Is it looking like the 2021 Macau Grand Prix is going to run this year?

I’m very hopeful it will. It did run last year, and they’re very organised. I think the [covid] cases over there are low at the moment, so fingers crossed, let’s say.

Let’s hope so. Now, you’ve got plenty of experience supporting racers in the past - would you say it’s a dream come true to own your own team?

Yes, you can say that, a bit of a dream come true! I remember thinking to myself as I said before, ‘I’d like to have a superbike team’ which never really went anywhere until the previous two years. I think the opportunity just came up, I’ve known Rebecca and Alan Smith (Smiths Racing) for the last couple of years, they came to Macau in 2018 when Peter Hickman won the race for me. 
We developed a good friendship there, so it was an opportunity when they said they didn’t want to race anymore. So I thought, I know the boys, and it’s a good way to take over a team. 

Sounds like a natural progression to take over as the owner, and quite a natural step for you to become a team boss.

Yeah, in 2018 they were riding under my livery, so I guess subconsciously I felt like I had my team there. Right now it’s just a bit bigger, with more riders, more bikes, but you know I have to say just looking at my logo on the bike and the vehicles, the boarding and how everything is going to be put together, it’s going to be mega. I can’t wait. 

The important thing for me with setting up this team, everything has to be flowing. we’ve put a lot into the style and design, and we want to look professional, and look like we want to win. For me, it’s very important that everything is very professionally done. Can’t wait for the season to start - this year may be a bit later than last year. But good things come to those who wait!

That’s very true! It’s looking great so far. You’ve got a brilliant bike in the BMW M1000RR, how excited are the team to get racing it?

Phew, the boys are very excited about it. It’s like Christmas coming early! It’s looking mega. Everyone will obviously notice the extra dynamics from the wings, the boys are very excited and can’t wait to get on it. We’ll see how it performs!

The BSB season has a lot of short circuits dotted around the UK. Do you have a favourite circuit you’re looking forward to this season?

For me, there’s a few that I really like. I do like Brands Hatch, Donington, Snetterton - I went last year and liked it, never been in the previous two years, but last year I did, and I like Snetterton too. There’s a few I really like. 

As Macau is a street circuit, for many years as I was living out there, all I saw was the Macau GP. So when I came to the UK, coming to the British Superbike and seeing so many different circuits, it’s incredible. 

I have to say, the paddock is like a big family. Everyone just gets on with everybody and says hello to everyone. It’s really nice to see that. 

Yeah, it’s always a nice community that forms in a paddock. Last thing, is there anything you’d like to say to the BSB fans and (future) fans of FHO Racing? 

I have to thank all the fans who have supported me with this new venture. Everyone has been so positive, and the comments have been so nice and positive. It’s really driven me to get this team going, and I can’t wait for the fans to come back to the race days and we can actually meet them all in person - I just want to say a big thank you!
 
Keep an eye on us and our team this season!

Best of luck to FHO Racing and Faye Ho for the 2021 season!

We have an interview coming next with Darren Jones, team manager and crew chief to Peter Hickman, you won't want to miss it!

Keep it Visordown to catch it first, and keep an eye on our social media to be the first to see it: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

Keep an eye on us and our team this season!