Richard Cooper was left wondering what could have been yesterday at Thruxton as technical problems caused the Anvil Hire Tag Racing Kawasaki rider to retire from both races.
The 32-year-old made a great start from eighth on the grid in race one and soon found himself in an entertaining battle for fifth position with the likes of James Ellison and Christian Iddon.
Having got the better of those two riders Cooper had his sights set on catching the leading pack, but his race came to a dramatic end a few moments later when his engine gave-way and spilled oil on the circuit. Both Ellison and Iddon were unable to avoid the spillage with the former crashing out of the race – breaking his wrist in the process.
Looking back at race one, Cooper said: “Up and till this morning everything was perfect, the bike felt mega and I felt we could get another podium. Unfortunately the bike let go, through no fault of anyone, the motors are under a lot of stress around Thruxton.”
Cooper’s team worked extremely hard in the interval between the two races and he was able to make it onto the grid for race two, although due to his retirement earlier in the day he had to start down in 27th position.
It looked as though the team’s hard work has paid off as Cooper made a great start, battling his way through to 13th position in the early stages of the race.
The rider’s bad luck would strike once more however and he was forced to pull off the track and retire from the race, just as it looked he could make it into the top 10.
Afterwards, Cooper said: “The team did a great job to get me back out for the second race, but sadly there was a technical issue. Starting from the back of grid and getting up to 13th was great and I was feeling good, this is tough field in BSB and we’ve shown we had the pace.”
Cooper’s disappointing day comes just one round after producing arguably one his best MCE British Superbike performances so far at Brands Hatch, where he managed to finish on the podium in both races.
Despite a poor weekend in comparison to that, Cooper is optimistic for the next round of the championship at Cadwell Park – home of the famous Mountain corner.
Cooper said: “Racing does like to mess with you’re head a little bit, after the highs of Brands we’ve come away from here with nothing and that’s tough to take for me but mostly for the team because they’ve all worked so hard. It’s really disappointing but we’ll roll onto Cadwell and we’ll hit the ground running.”
The double non-finish for Cooper leaves him down in ninth in the championship, 36-points behind the last Showdown position which is currently occupied by Tyco BMW’s Tommy Bridewell.