Dan Cooper and the Centurion Racing team have been enjoying a steady week of practice so far at the 2011 Isle of Man TT Races and after three sessions, the 24 year old from Stroud has posted a best lap of 115.183mph.
Monday evening was best described as hectic and whilst the team were already set up on the Island, Dan had to make the dash, along with a number of other riders from Thruxton where he took a season’s best third at the latest round of the Fuchs-Silkolene British Supersport Championship.
Subsequently, Dan was late to take to the 37.73-mile Mountain Course on the new Honda Fireblade and he’d only managed half a lap when the red flag came out due to heavy rain and hail on the Mountain.
Tuesday evening was significantly better weather wise and Dan again opted to take out the 1000cc Honda Fireblade and utilise the conditions to familiarise himself with both the circuit and the machine. He was able to put in three laps during the course of the evening, the best of which was 112.894mph but with the rear suspension too hard, he was unable to make the advances forward that he would have liked.
Therefore, the Cornwall-based team made a change to the set up for this evening, going softer on the suspension and this allowed Dan to complete three laps improving significantly to 115.183mph. He also took out the 675cc Triumph for the first time and recorded a best lap of 110.601mph.
Speaking afterwards, Dan said: “Having lost Monday night due to the weather, I’ve obviously been keen to get in as many laps on the big bike as possible because, apart from a few laps at Rockingham, I’ve never ridden a 1000cc bike before let alone at the TT. I’m very much finding my feet at the moment but we’ve been chipping away and just been putting some steady laps in as it’s still only my second time here and I’ve still got an awful lot to learn. The track’s been resurfaced in places and a lot smoother whilst I’ve been surprised at how cold it’s been up on the Mountain late in the session. Softening the suspension was definitely an improvement with the big bike though and I feel a lot happier with it now and we’re heading the right way. It’s great to be back here, I just love the place, so it’s all about building on what I learnt last year and enjoying myself throughout.”
Practice continues tomorrow evening.
Centurion Racing will continue to show their support for Help for Heroes, their chosen charity, by displaying H4H logos on the bikes’ new livery designed by Rage Designs and team attire. Dan’s race helmet has been kindly donated by Arai and will be a one-off design by RichArt showing both the H4H and IOM TT logos. 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 and Iraq.
Centurion Racing would specially like to thank Arai, FTR, GPR Racewear, Dunlop, Rage Designs, RichArt, R2 Logo Print & Embroidery, Akrapovic, Daytona, and Alan Smith of Smiths of Gloucester for personally supporting Dan, and all our friends and followers.
For more information visit the website: www.centurionracing.com (Also on Facebook) or please contact: Paul Rees, firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile: +44 (0)7785 248934 or John Cooper, email@example.com, mobile: +44 (0)7584 901191.
Picture attached (copyright free, courtesy of Mark ‘Wally’ Walters, higher resolution available on request): Dan Cooper in action during TT practice