Frustrated Cooper in Superbikes traffic jam

FRUSTRATED BUT HAPPY -- Richard Cooper in action at Brands Hatch.
FRUSTRATED BUT HAPPY -- Richard Cooper in action at Brands Hatch.

Hucknall rider Richard Cooper left Brands Hatch with mixed feelings after the second round of the MCE Insurance British Superbikes Championship last weekend.

Cooper (32) was happy to post points in both races. But he was frustrated at not achieving better finishing positions than 11th (five points) and 15th (one point).

Riding for the Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki racing team, he came through the two qualifying sessions to start 14th on the grid. And after making fine progress and working hard to pick off the riders in front, he found himself in a four-way battle that left him held up and needing luck to find the gaps.

“I wasn’t happy with my race pace,” said Cooper, who has fought back from injury which curtailed his Superbikes debut season last year.

“It was through no fault of our own. Just sheer traffic. But it was frustrating.”

For the second race of the day, the team made some big changes to the bike, and although only 15th, Cooper did well to make an aggressive move into the mid-pack after starting from the grid in 18th.

“I was actually happier to finish there than 11th in race one,” Cooper said. “I found the pace that I’d had earlier in the weekend and I knew I’d worked hard to get there.”

The results left Cooper 16th in the championship standings with 12 points, 73 behind leader Shane Byrne.

“It’s been a tough weekend, but at least I’m leaving Brands Hatch with points on the table,” Cooper said. “Now it’s a case of taking the aggression from this round into the next.” That next round is at Oulton Park over the May Bank Holiday weekend.