Tough Weekend for Centurion Racing at Brands
It was a tough weekend for the Centurion Honda team at round eight of the Fuchs Silkolene British Supersport Championship at Brands Hatch. Dan Cooper sadly crashed out of fifth place on lap 14 at Druids, his first DNF of the season, which has dropped him to fifth in the Championship standing. Centurion's new signing BJ Toal gained a fantastic 14th, making up 11 places from his qualifying position of 25th.
Dan Cooper was running well throughout the weekend and improved his time and position in every session, eventually qualifying on the second row in seventh place. It was an action packed Supersport race and Cooper was lying in fourth place at the end of the opening lap. A seven rider battled ensued and after six laps only 1.3 split the front runners with them swapping positions every lap.
Locked in a fraught battle with Mallory Park winner Chris Martin, the two riders were fighting for sixth place. On lap 10 Martin suffered a huge crash at Hawthorn and the safety car was deployed for four laps, on the re-start Cooper was up with the leading bunch but after only a lap and a half he lost the front going into Druids and crashed out of fifth.
A very disappointed Cooper:
"I'm gutted to have crashed as it's my first DNF this season. I was feeling really good on the bike and was hoping for a good result this weekend as everything felt good. I'm just disappointed really as I needed to be consistent and keep getting good results. Thankfully I'm not injured and hope the boys that did get injured have a speedy recover! I've got to move forwards now to Cadwell Park and aim to get back on form there, I can only think my tyres didn't have enough heat in them after the pace car was out and I just tucked the front. I'm sorry to the Centurion team and just looking forward to Cadwell now."
Toal had an eventful weekend and was settling in well to the Centurion Honda team and putting in some consistent lap times on his number one bike. A crash during first qualifying on Saturday at Surtees saw the Ulsterman unable to re-use his number one bike and have to compete second qualifying and the race on his number two bike. Starting from a lowly 25th position on the grid the youngster fought his way through the pack, picking off riders on each lap. Eventually gaining a very creditable 14th place and two points in the Championship table.
"I've been made to feel really welcome by the entire Centurion team and I really like the way the team works and how it went this weekend. It wasn't the result I was hoping for as I really wanted to be top ten but know I can't rush these things. This is really the first time I've had much track time on the Centurion Honda so it's like learning again. It's good though and I'm really fired up for the remaining rounds of the season. I'd like to thank the team again for taking me on board and hope I can get them good results in the last few rounds."
2009 Fuchs-Silkolene British Supersport Dates
29-31 August - Cadwell Park
11-13 September - Croft
25-27 September - Silverstone
9-11 October - Oulton Park