Richard Cooper will replace the injured Taylor Mackenzie for the final round of the MCE British Superbike championship alongside battling for the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 championship for Bennetts Suzuki.
Cooper was entered as a BSB wildcard for the Hawk Racing-run squad at Assen last time out and has been called up again with Mackenzie out of action after a heavy crash at the Dutch circuit where he suffered a partially dislocated and broken shoulder.
As a result, Cooper has a frantic race weekend at Brands Hatch ahead as he fights for the Superstock 1000 title, trailing Danny Buchan by 15 points with one race to go, plus the three-race BSB finale.
“It’s going to be a busy weekend, riding both the Superstock bike and the Superbike, but it was an opportunity that would be a shame to miss,” Cooper said. “Of course, it’s never nice when your team-mate is injured, but with the bike already built for Assen, it was easy for me to step in for the team to run a second Superbike.
“With Superstock, the aim is to win the race. The rest is out of my hands. Either way, we have had a good season and won a lot of races. With the Superbike, after racing it at Assen and at the Stars of Darley meeting, it’s beginning to feel like my bike now, and I’m looking forward to having three races on it over the weekend.”
Mackenzie says he’s devastated to miss the final round of a bruising 2017 campaign, having broken his foot at Silverstone earlier this year, but is confident of bouncing back stronger next season.
“I’m pretty gutted to be missing out this weekend and ironically my foot is pretty much brand new, but it’s my shoulder that’s the problem now, and I can hardly move my arm,” Mackenzie said. “It’s a real shame.
“It’s been a difficult year but I’ve shown my potential and the team has certainly shown the potential of the new GSX-R. We’ve had some strong results – fifth at Knockhill, seventh at Silverstone – and coming into the final rounds of the season the team has made big progress with the bike, highlighted by Sylvain’s win at Assen. It makes it an even tougher pill to swallow, but I’ll bounce back stronger next season.”