Dan Cooper is enjoying his second visit to the Isle of Man TT despite a hectic build up to the event for him and the Centurion Racing team.
The Stroud man enjoyed his best weekend so far in his British Supersport campaign, taking third place in the feature race at Thruxton, but was forced to make the mad dash from Hampshire over to the Isle of Man in time for Monday evening's first practice session.
As a result, Cooper was late to take to the 37.73-mile Mountain Course on the new Honda Fireblade and had only managed half a lap when the red flag came out due to heavy rain and hail on the Mountain.
The riders were greeted with much calmer conditions on Tuesday evening and Dan again opted to take out the 1000cc Honda Fireblade and familiarise himself with both the circuit and the machine. After three laps, he had recorded a best lap of 112.894mph but with the rear suspension too hard, he was unable to make the progress he would have liked.
Therefore, the Cornwall-based team decided to soften the suspension for Wednesday's run and this allowed Dan to complete three laps improving significantly to 115.183mph, leaving him in 38th position. He also took out the 675cc Triumph for the first time and recorded a best lap of 110.601mph to go 35th.
Speaking yesterday evening, the 24 year old wasn't letting the disrupted build-up bother him, and was enjoying his experience on the mountain course.
“Having lost Monday night due to the weather, I’ve obviously been keen to get in as many laps on the big bike as possible because, apart from a few laps at Rockingham, I’ve never ridden a 1000cc bike before let alone at the TT. I’m very much finding my feet at the moment but we’ve been chipping away and just been putting some steady laps in as it’s still only my second time here and I’ve still got an awful lot to learn.”
“The track’s been resurfaced in places and a lot smoother whilst I’ve been surprised at how cold it’s been up on the Mountain late in the session. Softening the suspension was definitely an improvement with the big bike though and I feel a lot happier with it now and we’re heading the right way. It’s great to be back here, I just love the place, so it’s all about building on what I learnt last year and enjoying myself throughout.”
Practice continues later this evening with live Radio TT commentary and live timing of all 2011 Isle of Man TT Races available at www.iomtt.com.