Motorbike racer ‘Cooperman’ storms to British title

ON THE VICTORY ROSTRUM ' Cooper (centre) at Cadwell Park
ON THE VICTORY ROSTRUM ' Cooper (centre) at Cadwell Park

MOTORBIKE racer Richard Cooper, of Hucknall, has gone full throttle and stormed to a renowned national title.

Cooper, who is nicknamed Cooperman, has been crowned champion in the prestigious Superstock series, which takes in some of England‘s top circuits.

The 28-year-old, of Keats Drive, who has been riding motorbikes competitively since the age of 12, has finished in the top two in six of the 11 races so far this season, landing four victories.

Cooper took the title — his first in competitive racing — at the home of British motor-racing, Silverstone.

He leads the championship by an unassailable 56 points with one race to go in his debut season with the Buildbase BMW team, who are based in Leicestershire.

“A first title has been a long time coming,” said Cooper, who grew up in Top Valley and went to Top Valley Comprehensive School. “I’m delighted to take the title.

“When you’re working with a team you’re happy with, it makes life a lot easier as a rider. It is not all done by myself. There is a lot done in the workshops and behind the scenes. Hours of work by a lot of people go towards this achievement.

“This is a victory for everyone involved.”

The Superstock competition, which is for high-performance road-bikes, offers the chance for manufacturers to showcase the power and performance of their top machines.

Cooper, riding his 1000cc bike, will wrap up the season at Brands Hatch this weekend. Practice starts today (Friday).

But he will also be looking towards the next step in his career

For as well as competing in the Superstock event, Cooper will race in the finale to the British Superbike Championship.

His team want to see how he will cope against the cream of the sport in Britain in one of the most competitive tournaments in the world.

If Cooper can impress, he could be in line to compete as a full entrant in the Superbike series next year.

The pinnacle of the sport is the World Superbike Championship — one step up from the British version.

But a realistic Cooper said: “If I can make it as a Superbike rider, which is one of the toughest events in the world, I’ve not done bad in my achievements.

“It’s not set in stone that I will be riding Superbikes next season, but it is looking likely.”

Cooper is the son of Sue and Paul Cooper. He started racing in the CB500 Stars Of Tomorrow event at the age of 16.

He has also raced in Europe for a large part of his career.

Last season, he finished in ninth place in the Superstock series after having an operation on an injured arm.