Richard Cooper assumed the lead of the National Superstock 1000 championship this weekend at Brands Hatch and round two of the season, after taking a win and a third place onboard the all-new GSX-R1000.
After taking a second place and a win at Donington Park at the opening round, the Bennetts Suzuki team made some adjustments to the setup of Cooper's GSX-R, aimed at helping the Nottinghamshire rider with corner entry. The changes proved positive, and allowed Cooper to win the first race of the weekend, after he hit the front early on and led the way until the red flags came out for rain.
For Monday's race the team made more adjustments to try and further improve the bike that unfortunately didn't yield the same gains. However, Cooper was still able to race to another podium finish, taking third place after a race-long battle at the front which saw six riders covered by just two seconds at the chequered flag. It means Cooper and the new GSX-R1000 have finished on the podium in every Superstock 1000 race so far this season.
Richard Cooper said, "It was a proper weekend. It would have been nice to have done the double but it was never going to be easy. With Brands, it's hard to get away and it means riders that you've probably got a bit more pace than can sometimes hang in there and have a go at you. But it was an enjoyable race and good to come away with the championship lead.
"There were some areas where we could improve - both with the bike and also where I could have maybe done things differently. We made some small changes in warm up and to be honest there was no real advantage from them, but I'm all for trying things.
"We've got the test at Oulton this week and it's good that it's so close to this weekend, as everything is still fresh. We'll sit down tomorrow and make a plan and work out what we want to achieve, and I'm now looking forward to the next round."
Steve Hicken, Bennetts Suzuki team manager, added, "Cooper had a great weekend and it's been good to take the championship lead in the Superstock 1000 class. It proves how strong the base package is with the new Suzuki.
"We improved our setup before this weekend, and hopefully we can further improve after the test on Thursday. We have some more things to try but at the moment we're really happy with the package we have and how competitive we are."