The comeback from injury of Hucknall’s Superbikes star Richard Cooper gathered significant momentum with his best performance yet of the new season.
The 32-year-old Kawasaki rider pocketed two top-ten finishes in the third round of the MCE-sponsored British Championship at Oulton Park over the May Bank Holiday weekend. It earned him a total of 15 points, which took his seasonal tally so far to 27 and lifted him to 13th in the overall standings, with nine rounds still to go.
“It was always the aim to be in the top ten, which is never easy, and I felt that was the best I’ve raced all year,” said a jubilant Cooper, who broke his arm halfway through his debut Superbikes campaign in 2014.
“We now need to work on the bike to make a pass because, at the minute, the lap time is there when I’m on my own or when I’m chasing, but when I get to the rider I’m catching, the bike isn’t as sharp as we want it to be.
“That’s something we’re looking at for the next round at Snetterton (20th June). But last weekend was great. The arm is feeling stronger than it has been all year long, so I’m happy overall.”
Riding for the Derbyshire-based Anvil Hire TAG team, Cooper qualified in 14th place for the opening race and made an electrifying start to battle for eighth before taking the flag in tenth. He started race two in ninth and progressed to finish seventh, which was an improvement that delighted team boss Rob Winfield.
“I predicted seventh for Coops,” said Winfield. “I just thought we had a bit more pace, so we’ll have to go away and find out why.”