Cooper storms to BSB victory

Richard Cooper (centre) celebrates his win on the podium at Oulton Park.
Richard Cooper (centre) celebrates his win on the podium at Oulton Park.

Hucknall’s Richard Cooper took his debut victory in the second round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park on Bank Holiday Monday.

After a ninth-placed finish in the first race, his first top ten of the season, Cooper was quick to take a gamble on the line for race two and it paid off on his Buildbase BMW.

Rainfall just before the race had wet the circuit but with the sun shining, he knew it wouldn’t be long before a dry line would start to form.

Shooting off the line to be in the leading pack from the off, Cooper worked hard in the early part of the race despite riding with a slick tyre in pretty much wet conditions.

This determination saw him build a gap over the riders behind to lead the race by two seconds, a gap only diminished when rain began to fall again.

Cooper managed to hold off an attack from Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon, who led into the final corner, and got the draft to the line to take his debut victory.

Cooper’s victory boosts him up the championship standings, where he now lies in sixth place and with five podium credits to his name, he’ll be hoping he can stay in the showdown spot.

Team-mate Lee Jackson finished 14th and 13th in the two races respectively. Initially the Lincolnshire youngster had run towards the front in the second race, holding off big names like Shane Byrne, Leon Haslam and Michael Laverty, but as conditions dried he lost ground and fell through the pack.

On his successful weekend, Cooper said: “I’m always one of the first to put a slick in when there’s in-between conditions and today that gamble paid off for us.

“I knew the start would be important so I went for it from the word go and managed to get into the lead and build a gap.

“When it started raining again I lost a bit of time because I bottled it, but I’ve ridden with Christian quite a bit so I was still confident.

“When he went a bit deep at Lodge I gave it all I had and crossed the line first. It’s amazing to take the first win, it’s great for the team and a reflection of the hard work we’re putting in.”

Buildbase BMW boss Steve Hicken added: “Cooper’s win today shows the determination and hard work he puts in.

“He’s had a good start to the season but the results haven’t reflected that until today.

“He took a gamble with the tyre but you’ve still got to ride the thing and that meant riding with a slick rear in almost wet conditions at the start.

“He’s shown what he’s capable of and it’s nice to be back on the top step in the superbike class.”

The BSB series will next head to the Brands Hatch Indy circuit on May 20-22.