Cooper splits with Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki

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Richard Cooper has split with the Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki team, with the announcement coming as a major surprise half way through the best season to date for both rider and team.

Taking an impressive double podium at Brands Hatch, Cooper currently lies eighth in the series, and with three injured riders ahead of him, is in with a chance at a Showdown spot.

Speaking in a statement, team boss Rob Winfield says that while impressed with Cooper, they believed that the time had come to split.

 “We’d firstly like to take this time to thank Richard for all his hard work this season and in the past. He’s a model professional and works hard in everything that he does, and has given us some lasting memories. But we both feel its time to part ways. TAG Racing as a whole wishes Richard all the best in the future.”

Elaborating on the circumstances of the split to MCN, the Nottingham rider says that events at the last round of the series at Thruxton brought the issues to a head.

Cooper was running in fifth in the opening race when an engine failure left him out of the running and James Ellison with a broken wrist after his bike spilt oil.

“Unfortunately, Thruxton was a bit of a low point, both for me as a rider and them as a team, and without saying anything bad about them, we had a bit of a disagreement. I didn’t think it would ever lead to this, but I couldn’t see any way out of what had happened.

“I spoke with them, we had quite a long meeting about it, and we came to the mutual conclusion that I’d leave the team. At the end of the conversation, though, we shook hands and wished each other the best of luck; it’s a small paddock to make enemies in. It was difficult to leave, but made slightly better knowing that while we couldn’t patch it up, at least we didn’t walk away on bad terms.”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer