After a successful outing at the International North West 200 last week, the Buildbase Suzuki team returns to Bennetts British Superbike action this weekend for the third round of the championship, taking place at Donington Park on 24-26 May.
With three superbike races on the schedule, Bradley Ray and Luke Stapleford are looking to put the challenges of Oulton Park behind them, and head to Donington with renewed confidence. Ray took his first British Superbike wins at the circuit in 2018, while Stapleford returns to a track he has more recent experience of after his years on the world stage. The team has also been working hard to improve the GSX-R1000R’s setup between rounds, with a focus on managing the superbike’s power delivery.
Richard Cooper – fresh from taking a podium finish at the North West 200 on his debut at the international road racing event – will turn his attentions to retaining his lead at the top of the National Superstock 1000 Championship. Cooper also boasts fond memories of the Donington Park circuit; he collected the new Suzuki GSX-R1000R’s first UK win in 2017, taking victory in the superstock class.
Bradley Ray, "I’m looking forward to getting going again to be honest. Oulton feels like a lifetime ago now, and I’m just excited to go and race my bike again. We’ve had some struggles at the start of the year, and while that’s frustrating we know where and why and everyone’s working hard to improve our package in that area.
"We improved my feeling with the bike at Oulton and made a step forward, and if we can keep working the same way I think we can take another step at Donington."
Luke Stapleford, "I took a bit of a whack in qualifying at Oulton and was struggling on race-day as I wasn’t right. But I’m feeling a lot more confident for Donington; I’ve been there more recently and I think it’ll suit our bike well, whereas I hadn’t raced at Oulton Park for a number of years.
"The GSX-R is really fast and at a track where you can open the throttle and hang on it works. But the team has been working flat-out to improve the areas we know we need to find more from, and you can see from Brad’s times at Oulton that progress was made, even in between races. I think we’ll make another step with the bike this weekend, and we’ll keep looking to bridge that gap to the front."
Richard Cooper, "At the North West no one was putting any pressure on me, given it was my road racing debut, but at Donington I’ve got a job to do and a championship lead to try and build on. We got a few laps in around Mallory Park this week, just to recalibrate, and it was good to get back out on the bike again on a short circuit.
"This weekend we’ve got another two-part race and a feature race, so plenty of opportunity to get some good points on the board. The goal, as always, is to come away with the championship lead, and I think we’re in a position to be able to do that."
% 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