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May 14, 2013 - 05:46 PM
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Cooper On Course For Nw200 Success
Posted by: newsla on May 14, 2013 - 05:44 PM
Cooper On Course For Nw200 Success

Emerging road race star Dan Cooper and his Cornwall-based Centurion Racing Team endured difficult conditions for the opening day of practice at the Vauxhall International North West 200 today but came away reasonably satisfied with their day's work.


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With early sunshine giving way to blustery showers on the Northern Irish coast between Portrush and Portstewart, Cooper, from Stroud in Gloucestershire was in action first on the Supersport-specification Centurion Racing Triumph 675 whereby he qualified in 18th place with a lap speed of 105.231mph around the 8.97-mile closed roads course.

Next up, the former 125cc British Champion was out on the Centurion Racing Honda Fireblade in the Superbike class but just as the riders were about to go out, the rain swept in meaning Dan didn't manage sufficient laps to post a qualifying time.

It was better conditions, however, for the Superstock session whereby the 25-year-old set 23rd fastest time on the 1000cc Honda with a lap speed of 110.859mph and it was in this session that he clocked his fastest time of 181.5mph through the speed trap to better his 173.5mph (Superbike) and 168.3mph (Supersport).

With experience gained today, the South West's only pure road racing team plans to put that to good effect on Thursday for the final qualifying session prior to Dan racing in the opening Supersport and Superstock races on Thursday evening, whereby he'll be looking to improve on his impressive tenth place finish on his debut last year.

Live coverage is available online at www.bbc.co.uk/sportni and on BBC Radio Ulster 92-95FM and 1341MW. Viewers can also tune into BBC Northern Ireland (Sky Channel 953) for the preview programme on Friday 17th May at 22.35 with the hour long highlights programmes being screened on Sunday May 19th May at 22.25 and Monday 20th May at 22.35.

Paul Rees, Team Principal: "It's our first time as a team over here at the North West 200 although Dan made a very impressive debut here last year and we are hopeful we can give a good account of ourselves. There are a couple of tweaks we need to make to the bikes for Thursday but the engineers will sort that out and it's nothing major. Hopefully Dan can improve his lap times and grid positions but we are here to learn and we have every confidence in him as he's a consummately professional rider who is very capable."

Dan Cooper: "It was good to get back into the swing of things as I've not done much riding this year so we are still really finding our feet. To be 18th on the Triumph in Supersport is good because we had a couple of problems so if the weather is OK on Thursday, we should be able to improve. The Superstock bike is going really well and I'm pleased with that so it's just the Superbike we need to really concentrate on and we shouldn't be too far away."

As in previous seasons, Centurion Racing will continue to show their support for Help for Heroes, their chosen charity, by displaying H4H logos on the bikes and team attire. Team Principal Paul Rees, who spent 20 years in Her Majesty's Royal Marine Commandos, was given permission to have the bikes carry the H4H logos in order to encourage the public to be more aware of this charity that supports our Armed Forces, many of whom are making daily sacrifices in Afghanistan.

Centurion Racing would specially like to thank Arai, FTR, GPR Racewear, Dunlop, RichArt, R2 Logo Print & Embroidery, Akrapovic, SW Commercials, 2K Coachworks and Daytona for personally supporting Dan, and all our friends and followers.

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