News 2 Sep 2009

WSBK: Cooper to get WSBK opportunity with BMW in Germany


This year’s eleventh round of the Superbike World takes place at the Nurburgring circuit in Germany and will see a new face in Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport. Ruben Xaus has been advised by his doctors not to race this coming weekend, so the team are giving a chance to young Briton Richard Cooper to ride with Troy Corser.

Twenty-six year old Richard has been racing in the British Superstock 1000 Championship this season, but also had a one-off British Superbike ride at Mallory Park, when he finished a superb 5th after leading the race for three laps. He is no stranger to BMW, having raced the BMW HP2 Sport in the World Endurance Championship last year and has also been a regular competitor in the BMW Boxer Cup. He tested the S 1000 RR racebike at the Eurospeedway Lausitz recently, but the Nürburgring will be his first ever WSBK race.

I like the Nurburgring and it has been a good circuit for me in the past and, after a recent tests and the race in Brno in the last round, I am really looking forward to this coming weekend. There is going to be a lot of interest and attention on us this weekend because it is the team’s ‘home’ race and all of us want to do well for our fans and our sponsors. It is a shame that Ruben cannot race this weekend but I’m sure that the right decision has been made. It’s far better for him to return when he is stronger and fitter. I’m happy that Richard is stepping in this weekend for Ruben. I have met him a few times, especially at Brands Hatch recently. He’s young, fast and good prospect for the future and I’m sure he’ll do a good job for the team. I’ll give him whatever helps he needs and although he’s young (and looks even younger!) he’s pretty experienced already, so maybe he won’t need it!

It’s a great honour to be asked by the team to ride in place of Ruben and I will do my very best for sure. This ride is like a dream come true, but I am under no illusions about the massive task waiting for me this weekend. I have never raced at the Nurburgring before, but at least I have tested the S 1000 RR racebike, so I have some knowledge of it before going out for my first laps. My first impressions of the bike were very good and I was surprised and pleased how smooth it felt and how good the power delivery was. I will be under no pressure from the team this weekend and all they want me to do is ride the bike and try and enjoy the experience. Ruben and I are very different physically – I am a lot shorter and weigh a lot less – so my first job is to get the bike set up for me. It’s not nice stepping into somebody else’s shoes, and I wish Ruben a speedy recovery, but this is a great opportunity for me and I will be giving it my best shot.

I saw my specialist today and he advised me not to race and, for once in my life, I am going to be sensible and do what a doctor says! It was always going to be difficult getting fit enough to race at the ‘Ring and although my physio and rehabilitation has been going better than expected, I think the decision not to race is the right one. I didn’t want to come to the Nurburgring and ride at only 80%. I am still on crutches at the moment and cannot put my full body weight on my right leg, so it is better that I sit this one out because I will then have another three weeks and be much stronger for the Imola race at the end of September. It would be a disaster, if I raced this weekend and did some more damage, but I shall miss getting on the bike for sure – especially as it is the team’s ‘home’ race. I would like to wish the team all the best this weekend and hope that Richard does well and enjoys himself.