Cooper Breaks Into Top 20 Despite Red Flag Confusion

by Louis Suddaby

Dan Cooper continued his rapid progress at the 2011 Isle of Man TT after finishing in the top 20 in Thursday's Supersport Two race, earning his third bronze replica in the process.

The race, originally scheduled for Wednesday, was postponed by 24 hours but Cooper was immediately on the pace when it did get underway, putting in a 117.882mph lap to move into 21st position.

The Stroud rider had his rhythm affected slightly by a red flag shown in error but a storming last lap, matching the speed he set on his first, moved him up to his eventual finishing position of 20th.

Cooper later explained the confusion caused by the red flag and looked forward to finishing the event on a positive note in the Pokerstars Senior TT on Friday.

“I had a good, clean first lap although it didn’t feel that fast but when I got to Ramsey on the second lap, I got the red flag so I pulled up, leant the bike against the wall and got off as did about five more riders. Michael Dunlop then went through at full racing speed and the commentator came out and said the red flag was put out by mistake so we all looked at each other, jumped back on and set off again! We lost about a minute in total and it was like having two pit stops so I took it steady to begin with to let the tyres get back up to speed and then had a real good go again on the final lap.

“I’m still a bit disappointed that my speeds haven’t gone up as much as I would have liked but it’ll come and the end result of 20th is brilliant. I’m just looking forward to a good, safe ride on the big bike tomorrow and ending the week on a positive note.”

Paul Rees, Team Owner of Centurion Racing, was impressed with the continuing improvements being shown by his rider and hopes to see him continue that form on Friday.

“I keep saying it but we’re chuffed to bits with Dan and although the red flag obviously upset his rhythm, the organisers did the sensible thing and credited him with the time. To be on the edge of the top 20 on the first lap was a superb effort but we couldn’t work out what had happened on the second lap as his transponder never moved beyond Ramsey. He got back up to 20th by the end though, which in just his second year, is a great ride and we couldn’t be happier with Dan’s riding.”

“We’ve had no problems with the bike at all and the team has gelled so well, the fortnight so far has gone faultlessly. On and off the track, Dan’s efforts are really pleasing and everyone’s been saying how smooth he looks out on the circuit so there’s a lot of potential there and plenty more to come. We’re just looking forward to the Senior now and are hopeful of another strong result. A fourth bronze replica would be absolutely brilliant.”

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