Ulster GP – Final Thoughts

Stroud’s Daniel Cooper overcame mixed weather conditions at this week’s Ulster Grand Prix to take a brace of excellent top ten finishes with the highlight being a superb seventh place in Saturday’s opening Supersport 600cc race.

Good conditions for qualifying on Wednesday and Thursday saw the 31-year old on the leaderboard in all of his classes, the best of which was third place overall for the Supertwins category after lapping at 116.213mph on the KM Electrical/CMS Kawasaki.

A lap of 127.492mph on the IMP Cross Engineering BMW placed him 12th overall for the three Superbike races with the same machine putting him 13th overall for the Superstock class. Meanwhile, a lap of 123.312mph on the KW Electrical/CMS Honda placed him 11th on the timesheets for the Supersport races.

Unfortunately, rain began to fall when the races were due to get underway on late Thursday afternoon which resulted in Dan opting out of the Supersport and Supertwins races and although the rain cleared up for the Superbike race, with a dry track all around the 7.4-mile Dundrod circuit, fading light meant it was ultimately cancelled.

The competitors were greeted with bright, sunny weather on Saturday morning and it was the six-lap Superstock race that got proceedings underway. A strong start saw Dan immediately slot into the top ten on the IMP Cross Engineering BMW as he found himself part of a five-rider battle for eighth. It was nip and tuck all the way but, aided by a fastest lap of 128.926mph – just outside his personal best – Dan moved up to ninth place and with the race being stopped on the penultimate lap, this was where he finished.

Next up was the six-lap Supersport race and Dan again ran in the top ten throughout, this time on the KW Electrical/CMS Honda. Ninth at the end of the opening lap, on this occasion Dan was involved in a terrific six-rider battle for the entire race and when Dean Harrison retired from second, Dan was promoted up the order to eighth. He then overhauled Joey Thompson on the penultimate lap to secure another superb result.

Unfortunately, the weather then deteriorated and the forecasted rain resulted in the feature Superbike race being stopped after just two laps. The rain then got heavier and the descending mist thicker which resulted in the remaining three races, of which Dan was due to contest two, being cancelled and the meeting abandoned.

Dan Cooper: “I was really pleased with the results that I had so it’s a shame the weather resulted in a few of the races being cancelled as I normally get quicker as the day goes on but the organisers definitely made the right call. On hindsight, perhaps I should have gone out in the two races on Thursday evening but I didn’t feel totally comfortable with the conditions and you have to go with what your head’s telling you. It meant I missed both of the Supertwins races which was disappointing as I would have been on for a good result having qualified well and won the race in 2016.”

“The opening Superstock race went well and I was pleased to lap at close to 129mph as I had a problem in the morning warm-up when the fuel cap came off which lost me a bit of track time whilst the 600cc race gave me one of my best results in the class around Dundrod. Joey Thompson’s bike was a bit quicker than mine in a straight line but he was holding me up a bit through the corners and that meant we lost the tow to the group in front otherwise I could have been on for a top six finish. Overall though, I’m happy with the results so a big thank you to all of my sponsors especially IMP Cross Engineering, KW Electrical and CMS.”
Statement from Dundrod & District Motorcycle Club 12.8.18

It is with much sadness that the Dundrod & District Motorcycle Club confirms that while Fabrice Miguet remains on life support, we understand that the medical expectation is that he has sustained injuries that are un-survivable.

The 49-year-old rider from Normandy, France, was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital following an incident at the Joey’s Windmill section of the course during the Superstock race at the Ulster Grand Prix on Saturday 11th August.

Our thoughts are with Fabrice’s family, team and many friends at this difficult time.