Dan Cooper was delighted with his TT debut for the Centurion Racing team as he made up 19 places from his starting position in today's Superbike race.
The Stroud rider finished the week of qualifying in 57th place but made steady progress throughout the six lap race, gaining speed as well as positions.
An opening lap of 116.580mph immediately moved him up to 49th and smooth pit work by the Centurion Racing squad saw him into the top 40 by the end of lap four. Despite an increasingly difficult time with traffic, Cooper set his fastest ever lap of the mountain circuit on the final lap of the race to move up to 38th.
The 24-year-old admitted the race was every bit as challenging as he expected and he had some of the wounds of battle to show for it.
“That was a really tough race and six laps are certainly a lot harder than four, the blisters on my hands show that! When I left the line, I was thinking six laps was going to be a long old race so I kept it steady for the first couple of laps and was pleased to get quicker and quicker as the race wore on.”
“I was glad to get out there and gain more experience although it was a bit frustrating as I kept catching and passing people only for them to get ahead of me after the pit stops meaning I had to do it all over again. I outbraked myself once at Sulby Bridge when I got a little bit carried away but other than that it was a trouble-free race. Finishing a six-lap race is a major achievement for anyone so to do this on just my second time here, and on a bike that I’ve hardly ever ridden, is really pleasing and I’m very happy to start the week with a solid finish.”
Team owner Paul Rees was ecstatic to see the Cornwall-based squad complete its' first TT race and is looking forward to more of the same when they return to action on Monday.
“I’m chuffed to bits with the result and am really pleased for Dan and the team that we’ve completed our first six-lap race on a 1000cc machine. We’ve obviously had limited time with the bike but Dan just kept chipping away and it was a great race for him. The boys in the team did a great job at the pit stops and although Dan got held up a bit on a couple of the laps, he kept calm and worked his way through the traffic sensibly. It’s a good, solid start to the week and a good finish for the team’s first TT race so I’m over the moon.”
Cooper and the Centurion squad will be back in action on Monday, as they take part in the Superstock and Supersport races scheduled to take place that day.