Brands Hatchs weekend to remember for Superbikes ace Richard Cooper

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Hucknall racer Richard Cooper enjoyed one of his best weekends ever as he achieved a second and third place podium double at the sixth round of the MCE British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch.

Following the free practice sessions, Cooper progressed through into qualifying comfortably, keeping pace with the top five, finishing FP3 in fourth place.

Cooper continued the form in qualifying, easily making Q3 for the first time in his and the team’s Superbike career.

The final eight-minute dash saw Richard dip into the 1:25’s for the first time, as he posted a time that would line him up on the second row of the grid, in fourth position for race one .

From the leap off the line Cooper got a great start and came out of paddock hill bend in third place.

He rode a strong race to hold off the challenge of James Ellison to cross the line in second place, for his first podium of the season.

After his lap time from the first race, Cooper found himself lining up on the front row in third place.

From the lights he got a great start and fought hard to keep a charging James Ellison behind him.

Then Cooper started to break away, forging enough of a gap for the 32-year-old to cruise home in a superb third place.

After the race a jubilant Cooper said: “This is the best weekend of racing I’ve had in 16 years.

“To do what we did today is fantastic, and it has proved to a lot of people that we can do it.

“The whole weekend has been amazing for me because Friday and Saturday were great and I knew that I had to do it today.

“It’s all clicked into place and I can’t thank the team enough. It’s been fantastic.

“It’s all about podiums and trophies, not the money, that’s why I didn’t go to the back of grid.

“I want to dedicate this one to my Mum and Dad because I know back home they’ll have a tear in their eyes.

“I can’t wait for Thruxton now, I want to do the same again.

“I know it’s going to be hard but I’ll be pushing 100 per cent.”

Team owner Rob Winfield added: “I’m ecstatic with this weekend.

“We had a bad start to the weekend with Filip crashing heavily on Friday and we thought the worst.

“But Coops has come good, and he’s been fantastic all weekend.

“He’s run the times he has this weekend on old tyres which is brilliant, and to come away with two podiums is just amazing.

“Filip and Shaun have done great as well.

“Filip has had two good races after what happened on Friday, and Shaun has really gained a lot from this and will take it into the next round.

“This result has lifted the whole team after Knockhill, and I can’t wait for Thruxton now.”

Cooper now sits in eighth position of the MCE British Superbike Championship on 76 points, only 22 behind the final Showdown spot of sixth place.

The team now rolls onto the next round of the Championship, which is at the Thruxton Circuit.

Cooper is this year working his way back from breaking his arm halfway through his debut MCE British Superbikes campaign in 2014.