Team Suzuki Press Office – September 30.
Buildbase Suzuki’s Richard Cooper scored his best result of the season today at Assen, Netherlands finishing fifth in race two at the penultimate round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.
From his eighth-placed grid-spot, the Nottinghamshire ace made a lightening start and was locked in the fight for the podium in the opening stages of the race. He lost touch with the lead group but took an excellent fifth, a reward for the ongoing hard work both he and the team have put into improving the set-up of his GSX-R1000 Superbike throughout the season.
The result was an improvement from his 12th in race one – where he was embroiled in a thrilling battle for the top-10 throughout – following a decision between races to run the harder option front tyre.
“As a racer it’s funny, because we’ve been working hard all season and all weekend, and we’ve just achieved our best result of the season, but I’m disappointed we didn’t finish on the podium. We changed the front tyre and went harder from race one to race two and it gave us a better race pace, but I struggled initially to get into a rhythm which is what I think cost me the chance to go with the leaders. But I’m happy; to go from where we were in qualifying and race one to battling for the podium in race two shows the progress over the weekend and also the team’s ability to make the right decisions and get us the results. I want to build on this and what we’ve learned and finish strongly at Brands Hatch.”
It was a tough weekend for Showdown challenger Bradley Ray, the 21-year-old finishing outside of the points in 17th in race one. However, in another example of rider and team resolve, he and his crew worked hard between races to improve the set-up of his GSX-R1000 and in race two he embarked upon a stunning ride from his 18th placed grid spot to finish seventh.
“It was a tough weekend, but I can’t thank the team enough for the hard work they put in. We struggled in race one with my feeling from the bike, but the team made some big changes for race two and I was able to attack a bit more. We were faster over a single lap and our race pace was better, so that was positive. We’ll try and understand where we struggled and where we can improve, and come out fighting at the last round.”