Team Suzuki Press Office – October 14.
Bennetts Suzuki’s Richard Cooper set pole position for tomorrow’s final National Superstock 1000 race of the 2017 season, before racing to a top-10 finish in the weekend’s opening MCE British Superbike championship race at Brands Hatch as his team-mate Sylvain Guintoli was unlucky to crash out of today’s Superbike race, going down on spilt fluid from another machine.
Cooper, racing in both classes for the final round of the season aboard the new 2017 GSX-R1000, is still in the hunt for the Superstock 1000 Championship, while also deputising for the injured Taylor Mackenzie in the weekend’s three Superbike races.
The Nottinghamshire rider qualified on pole position for tomorrow’s Superstock race, before switching to his GSX-R1000 Superbike-spec machine; dressed in the same retro livery from Assen. He qualified on the fifth row, and – after the race was restarted when the red flags came out for a multi-rider crash – was circulating inside the top-10, holding eighth position onto the final lap. A small mistake cost him two places, but he still took an impressive 10th-place finish.
Guintoli, started on the fourth row, but saw his race cut short, crashing on fluid dropped by another machine. He was one of a number of riders to fall, with the red flags postponing proceedings to allow for the track to be cleaned. Unfortunately, the Assen race-winner was unable to make the restart.
“It’s been a busy day but it’s been good. We’re P1 one on the trusty stock bike, which is all we can do. We’ve just got to try and win the race and hope for some luck. The bike’s working well, as it always does really, so we’ll see what tomorrow brings. On the Superbike, qualifying was okay, we’re still getting it dialled-in really, but I was having a good race this afternoon. I was happy inside the top-10, but I made one mistake and it cost us two places. That’s how close BSB is this year. But it’s a strong result and we’ve got room for improvement.”
“It’s bad luck, but sometimes this happens in racing. It’s a shame, and it gave the team a lot of work to do. On track it is very competitive again and the times are very close. We will try and improve the bike more in warm-up tomorrow, and put this behind us and have two good races to finish the season.”