Team Suzuki Press Office – September 18.
Sylvain Guintoli – 11th BSB
Richard Cooper – 1-2 in STK
Richard Cooper took another podium finish onboard the Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000 at Oulton Park and round 10 of the MCE British Superbike championship, when he finished in second place in Sunday’s National Superstock 1000 race, while teammate Sylvain Guintoli recovered from a crash in the opening Superbike race to finish inside the points with 11th in race two.
Cooper added to his win in Saturday’s race, but was left wondering what could have been in today’s race when back-markers hindered his progress and cost him time in pursuit of series leader and eventual race-winner Danny Buchan. Racing in tricky conditions, Cooper saw his deficit of just 0.4s extend to 2.5s in one lap after hitting traffic, and means he now sits 15 points behind in the championship chase with one round remaining.
The opening Superbike race of the weekend took place in wet conditions, and initially saw Guintoli – flying solo in the Superbike class this weekend as Taylor Mackenzie recovers from a broken foot – making solid progress from his 16th-place grid spot. Moving his way towards the top-10, the Frenchman unfortunately crashed out of contention.
In race two he recovered and from well outside the points made his way as far forward as 11th; his performances masked by the results come the end of the weekend.
“Danny Buchan’s pace was really strong all race and all weekend to be fair, and in today’s race, after I dropped too far back, I wasn’t going to be able to bridge the gap again. It’s a shame because it feels a bit like we take two steps forward and one step back in the title chase. When I was behind him early on I felt like I could have made a pass, but he just got passed the back markers and I caught them in the wrong place and that was it really. We’re a bit further back again now with one race to go, but it’s not done. My bike was working well all weekend again so hopefully we’ll go to Brands Hatch prepared and take it to the wire.”
“After a positive Silverstone, where we took a fourth placed finish, it was a bit trickier again this weekend. For sure, the conditions were difficult, and our qualifying position wasn’t so good, but in race one we’d made some steps with our wet weather setup and although we still have to improve more, I was making some passes and good progress before the crash. In the second race, we were coming from quite far back but again made progress, moved into the points and were pushing for the top-10.”
Steve Hicken – Team Manager:
“Another up and down weekend for us. Yesterday we were on a real high with Cooper’s win and the difference it had made to his championship, but today, while a podium is always a good result, it feels a bit hollow. Sat in second we felt he was in a strong position to at least take the fight to Danny [Buchan] and the pair of them could have raced for the win, but instead our race was ended early by lapped traffic and it could be what costs us and the new GSX-R the championship at the first time of asking. But that’s racing sometimes, and we’ll keep pushing and try and take it to the wire at Brands Hatch.
“In the Superbike races, of course, we were a man down today, but Taylor [Mackenzie] is recovering well and we’re hopeful to have him back at Assen. Sylvain was flying the Bennetts Suzuki flag solo and to be honest the results probably don’t reflect the effort put in. Our qualifying position was disappointing and we didn’t have a good grid spot but in both races, in wet and some tricky half-and-half conditions, Sylvain was able to make progress through the pack.
“Congratulations must go to Brad Ray and the Buildbase Suzuki team for their podium in the second race today, highlighting the talent he has as a class rookie and the development progress we’re all making with the new GSX-R1000 in this championship.”
Superstock 1000 race two result: 1. Danny Buchan, 2. Richard Cooper (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000), 3. Josh Elliot.
Superbike race one result: 1. Leon Haslam, 2. John Hopkins, 3. Josh Brookes, DNF. Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000).
Superbike race two result: 1. Dan Linfoot, 2. Leon Haslam, 3. Brad Ray (Buildbase Suzuki), 11. Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000).