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Eazi Grip

Richard Cooper is crowned 2023 BMW F 900 R Cup Champion

This weekend the 2023 Bennetts British Superbike Championship season came to a close at Brands Hatch, where the FHO Racing BMW Motorrad team were crowned ABK Beer 0% BMW Motorrad F 900 R Cup Champions, with Richard Cooper taking the title crown.

After a dominating performance throughout the season, ‘Coopes’ added to his unbeaten run, winning the ninth and final race this afternoon to claim the championship win over title rival Thomas Strudwick, with a lead in the end of more than three seconds to take the race and title win.

Throughout the 2023 season Richard delivered a masterclass in the inaugural series, where he led the way in most practice, qualifying and race events, however it wasn’t always plain sailing with Thomas hot on his heels challenging for the wins.

In the British Superbike class Faye Ho’s squad finished the year seventh overall with Josh Brookes, after a solid weekend scoring three top ten finishes aboard the BMW M 1000 RR.

Starting yesterday’s Sprint Race from 18th on the grid, Josh carved his way through the pack across the 12 laps to come home seventh. Today’s longer two races saw him finish eighth and ninth, to wrap the season up seventh in the standings.

For teammate Peter Hickman luck was once again not on his side, as he retired on the last lap of today’s final race with a technical issue. The weekend had started off looking promising for Peter; second fastest in Friday’s combined practice, he qualified fifth for the opening race, where he later finished sixth and came home ninth in the second race.

It was a disappointing end to the season for Kate Walker in the ABK Beer 0% BMW Motorrad F 900 R Cup. Having moved up into the British Superbike paddock, Kate had a fantastic season filled with progression. Unfortunately, Kate’s weekend ended in the LCQ session when she crashed out unhurt, whilst running in fourth place.

The FHO Racing BMW Motorrad team will now start to prepare for the 2024 Bennetts British Superbike Championship, where Josh and Peter will remain with the team for another season.

Richard Cooper – ABK Beer 0% BMW Motorrad F 900 R Cup Champion
“What can I say really, it’s been faultless year with the FHO Racing BMW Motorrad team in the BMW F 900 R Cup winning every race, topping every session and setting lap records. I came into the Championship with a target on my back, but I feel like we lived up to the challenge and I thoroughly enjoyed every single moment I rode that bike and it genuinely made me smile. I felt a little bit of pressure today, coming into the final knowing that not many riders had been able to win, but once I got into my rhythm it was business as usual. I’d like to thank Faye for the opportunity, the deal came about quite late, but we have proved that no matter how late you are, you can still make it count and we’re leaving Brands Hatch as champions, and that was the target we set ourselves.”

Josh Brookes: Race 1: 7th, Race 2: 8th, Race 3: 9th
“I started the last round in a difficult fashion, I came off the bike in first practice which was wet and I got a bit bashed up, bruised and carried some discomfort throughout the weekend, however we pushed on and made good progress through the rest of the practice sessions. It’s been difficult this weekend, the weather has been wet and it’s been super cold, so it’s been hard to evaluate the bike and confirm settings with any changes we made. It started raining just before qualifying and we had to go out in the wet and I had high expectations to achieve something good in that one. However, the bike stopped and I didn’t get a qualifying time, so had to start the first race from 18th. I made good progress in the race and ended up seventh, which doesn’t sound great but it’s a good improvement from 18th on the grid! We made some changes for this morning’s warm-up, and it was really cold, so again we couldn’t evaluate any of those changes. We got a fairly good start and just faded a little towards the end of the race and lost a few positions, which was quite frustrating. In the final race, we had strong pace early on and were in the bunch with the leading riders, but again faded towards the end and lost some speed. I’d like to thank everyone; all the supporters the team sponsors the fans – everyone who has put something into the team and hopefully next year we can get some better results and fight for the championship.”

Peter Hickman – Race 1: 6th, Race 2: 9th, Race 3: DNF
“2023 has been a really tough year for me in BSB; it’s been really hard which I think is the best way to describe it. I’ve not shown my potential and we’ve not had many strong results and it’s not gone my way at all. The last three rounds we’ve actually been a lot stronger, again, we’ve not had the results, but our pace and speed has been pretty close to the front. Everyone has worked so hard behind the scenes, so a massive thank you to Faye and the entire FHO Racing BMW Motorrad team, they have really stuck by me through this bad season – 11th in the championship is really not where we should be! I also want to say a massive thank you to our sponsors and all the fans because the support I get weekend in weekend out, regardless of where I’m finishing is absolutely phenomenal. So a massive, massive thank you to everybody who’s been watching and supporting this year it’s not been my year, however it wasn’t through lack of trying and I certainly won’t be giving up anytime soon!”

Faye Ho – Team Principal:
“We finish the 2023 season as champions with Richard in the F 900 R Cup and I’m so pleased for him after such an incredible year. He’s delivered a real masterclass in the series and shown his talent each weekend to win every race this year. Also in the F 900 R Cup, we had Kate alongside Richard and she’s really impressed everyone with her dedication and drive to improve across the year. I really felt for Kate in the LCQ race, it was such a shame that she crashed out and wasn’t able to race in the final race of the weekend.

The Superbike class, this year for whatever reason it wasn’t meant to be. It’s not been an easy year and we’ve not had the results we as a team, or the riders are capable of. We have a former two-time champion with Josh and Pete has had success in the championship, so we have a super-strong team, just for some reason it didn’t come together. I want to thank the whole team and the riders for their hard work across the season, as well as all our sponsors and fans, we’ll come back stronger from this and come into the 2024 season ready to challenge.”

Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, BikeSocial Sprint Race

  1. Kyle Ryde (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha)
  2. Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +0.015s
  3. Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati) +3.476s
  4. Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati) +3.960s
  5. Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +7.658s
  6. Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad) +9.541s
  7. Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad) +14.630s
  8. Jack Kennedy (Mar-Train Racing Yamaha) +14.741s
  9. Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki) +15.103s
  10. Ryan Vickers (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) +15.346s

Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race 2

  1. Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati)
  2. Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati) +0.274s
  3. Kyle Ryde (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) +1.132s
  4. Ryan Vickers (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) +1.568s
  5. Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki) +5.598s
  6. Leon Haslam (ROKiT BMW Motorrad Team) +5.674s
  7. Max Cook (Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki) +5.849s
  8. Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad) +6.829s
  9. Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad) +8.786s
  10. Storm Stacey (Starline Racing Kawasaki) +10.489s

Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race 3

  1. Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati)
  2. Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati) +0.372s
  3. Kyle Ryde (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) +0.671s
  4. Ryan Vickers (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) +3.576s
  5. Leon Haslam (ROKiT BMW Motorrad Team) +5.157s
  6. Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +5.583s
  7. Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +5.640s
  8. Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki) +7.366s
  9. Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad) +7.564s
  10. Charlie Nesbitt (MasterMac Honda by Hawk Racing) +16.599s

2023 Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Standings

  1. Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati) 455
  2. Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati) 454.5
  3. Kyle Ryde (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) 422
  4. Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki) 376.5
  5. Leon Haslam (ROKiT BMW Motorrad Team) 369
  6. Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 365.5
  7. Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad) 340
  8. Ryan Vickers (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) 306

Posted on Wednesday, October 18th, 2023 in News

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