Buildbase Suzuki’s Richard Cooper enjoyed a successful road racing debut this week, coming away from the International North West 200 with a second place finish on his superstock GSX-R1000R, along with the title of fastest ever newcomer at the event.
Cooper – who currently leads the National Superstock 1000 Championship – worked steadily throughout Tuesday and Thursday’s practice sessions, which took place in glorious sunshine, to improve his pace around the 8.97m circuit, and qualified eighth fastest in both the superstock and superbike classes. In Thursday’s superstock race he got away with the leading group, but kept his head, rode at a comfortable pace, and crossed the line in sixth, coming away with the title of fastest newcomer in the process with a lap speed of 120.659mph on his GSX-R1000R.
With the weather changing for Saturday’s action and leading to delays and changeable track conditions, Cooper raced his GSX-R1000R superbike, shod with wet tyres, to another impressive sixth place finish.
Tyre choice was the big decision for the event’s second superstock race, with a mostly dry track littered with damp and wet patches, and the ever-present threat of rain. Electing for a wet front and intermediate rear, Cooper made his way through the pack in the opening lap and half to move into second place, the position he would contend all the way to the chequered flag.
Swapping positions with his rivals – and also closing in on the race leader in the latter stages – Cooper grabbed second on the run into Juniper Hill for the final time to finish runner-up by just three seconds.
The final superbike race was cancelled due to the adverse weather conditions and worsening visibility.
Richard Cooper said afterwards, "Coming into this event, I knew I was going to take my time, learn, and build up my speed, and I feel like I’ve taken small steps forward since we started on Tuesday and just got faster and faster. In the first two races, even when I got away with the fast group at the front I held back, because it wasn’t time to push, I needed to still go at my pace.
"For the second superstock race it was different; I felt comfortable – I’ve won in those conditions on a superbike – and felt I could attack and push harder. But to come away with a podium this week is a dream to be honest.
"But the team is perfect. I always said I wouldn’t come and do this event unless everything came together and with the Buildbase Suzuki team I’ve got a team around me that I trust completely and have loads of experience doing this, and a bike that worked really well all week. I don’t even know how the suspension was setup for that last race or anything, I just get on it and look where I ended up. I can’t thank them enough for the hard work this week to get us to this point."
Suzuki’s GSX-R1000R also remains on 0% finance. For more information, click here.
% APR Finance available on 2018 models of GSX-R1000R/RZ. HP and PCP finance. Credit is available to UK residents aged 18 and over, subject to status. Suzuki Financial Services Limited, St William House, Tresillian Terrace, Cardiff, CF10 5BH. £500 minimum deposit. Offer ends 30/06/2019