Dan Cooper took a remarkable maiden international roads victory at Saturday’s Ulster Grand Prix, just three months after his North West 200 horror crash.
Cooper was one of two riders involved in a nasty crash in the opening Supertwins race at this year’s North West 200, in which race leader Ryan Farquhar lost the front of his KMR Kawasaki leaving Cooper with nowhere to go but hit the stricken Ulsterman.
He suffered two dislocated shoulders in the incident, which ruled him out of the remainder of the North West 200 and hindered his 2016 Isle of Man TT campaign. However, he bounced back to form at this year’s Ulster Grand Prix to clinch his maiden international victory after a six-way battle in the Supertwins race.
“Winning the Supertwin race isn’t a bad way to end the day is it?” he said. “We didn’t have any dry practice time on the bike so I didn’t know how hard to push to begin with and I decided to sit with the leading group in the early stages and let the race settle down. There were a few wild overtaking manoeuvres going on but I kept in the front three places for much of the race and knew if I could lead into the hairpin going into the final lap, I had a good chance of holding on. I was stronger from there to the start and finish than the other riders and the plan worked out perfectly.
“It’s completed a really good day and having missed the majority of the TT, it’s nice to finish the International season with a good set of results. My lowest finish was 11th and I lapped at over 128mph on the big bike so although I was a little disappointed with the Supersport results – the bike was good out the turns but a little bit down on top end – I’ve got to be happy with how the meeting’s gone. The riders ahead of me in the Supersport and Superbike races were all part of the big, factory teams so we can’t complain at all. The team have done a mega job again and days like this make up for the earlier disappointments."
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