FHO Racing, a new BMW-backed team, will enter both the Bennetts British Superbike Championship and International Road Races next season.

Created by Macau entrepreneur Faye Ho, the outfit has been formed from the foundations of the successful Smiths Racing operation, which ceased competing at the end of this year, utilising many of its experienced technicians and equipment.

Equipped with the 2021 BMW M 1000 RR Superbike, the first M model from BMW Motorrad, the FHO Racing BSB line-up features the world’s fastest road racer, Peter Hickman, alongside World Superbike podium finisher Xavi Fores.

As well as his five Isle of Man TT wins, Hickman is also a previous BSB race winner with BMW.

"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," said Hickman, a long-time Smiths Racing rider. "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."

Spanish star Fores returns to the British Superbike Championship after finishing 13th in World Superbike this season with Puccetti Kawasaki.

Fores has now spent four years at WorldSBK level - plus appearances in WSS, 125cc, Moto2 and MotoGP - but sees BSB as 'unfinished business' after four podiums for Honda during 2019, while making his first visit to most of the challenging UK circuits.

“I enjoyed my time in BSB but maybe not so much in WorldSBK 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!" Fores said.

"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.”

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.

An international businesswoman who currently divides her time between Macau, Hong Kong and the UK, Faye Ho has stepped up from motorsport enthusiast to team owner, having previously supported a number of riders and teams in her native Macau Grand Prix event.

“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," Faye Ho said.

"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!”

FHO Racing Team Manager Darren Jones added: “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.”