Words by Nick Cooper

Rider -  Nick Cooper

Crew Chief - Sadie Cooper

My love for bikes started with an old Honda CB250G5 with full Rickman fairing and no clutch. I was aged 12. From an early age, I wanted to race, but due to work, and then family commitments, it never happened. Then, after a near miss on the A272 in 2014, whilst riding my Ducati 996, I realised that my road riding had to finish if I was to actually enjoy riding.

We sold the Duke. I thought that, if we were going to race, it had to be a stroker! We purchased an MK2 Aprilia RS 250 with the intention of ‘living the dream’ and going racing with Bemsee. I attended, and passed, my CTC course on the 21st Sept 2014 and applied for my rookie licence.

Bearing in mind, I had considered myself a fast(ish) road rider. I was hoping this was true as we trundled up to Brands Hatch, my work van stuffed to the gunnels with bike, spares with our recently purchases £350 caravan.

Unfortunately, Bemsee wasn't running a Two-stroke GP class, so we entered the hotly-contested F400 class for our first season.  

We had budgeted for the half day's practice on Friday. I was feeling a tad nervous as we left pit lane. I had done three track days in previous years and they had all been at Brands, so at least I knew which way the track went!

Qualifying on Pirelli Supercorsas for the first time was inspiring as to the levels of grip achieved. I went on to qualify 4th. Racing was wet and I had never ridden with full wets before. I was gobsmacked as knee-down was the order of the day!! I finished the weekend with three 4th places and one 3rd. My very first trophy.

We were hooked.

After a few race meetings, we were approached by Wemoto with an offer of help with race parts. This was a godsend  - we really didn’t understand how much this racing malarkey costs. We were, and still are, very grateful.

Results and table for Rookie F400 2015 season:
2nd in Championship
33 races entered
Two wins
Three 2nd places
15 3rd places
Ten 4th places
1 DNF/crash - four bike pile up.

2016 Season

I entered in the F400 sub 64bhp class for the year, but on my second lap of free practice at the first meeting of the year, I got brake-checked going into Graham Hill bend at Brands. I crashed and broke my collarbone.

Due to complications between the original break in March, I was then operated on in November and now have a titanium plate.

Roll on 2017.

2017 Season

At last, Bemsee is running a two-stroke series. We entered in the GPF class. Due to my injury and lack of work, the bike wasn’t ready for the first meeting at Brands so Cadwell Park was our first outing and the first time I had ridden a bike in a year. Unfortunately, the bike was suffering from overheating problems and, after winning the first race, it seized on the Park straight whilst leading race two.  

This financially crippled us and we missed the next two meetings. With the help of Wemoto, who kindly sourced us the necessary parts for a full rebuild, we entered a scorching Donington Park. Another DNF which was down to an airlock in the radiator. After a quick top-end rebuild between races, we literally ran the engine in on our second race and finished 9th. The last race of the meeting was a win.

Oulton, which I don’t go well at, was two 4th places.  

Returning to Brands Hatch, it was our home round and we were happy to have Keith from Wemoto in the paddock with us. Obviously, a lucky charm, as we won all four races with a personal best of 54.123.

Snetterton was wet and then dry. The last race was in biblical conditions and run at 5.50pm so it was dark too! All in all, the weekend was a tricky meeting with many wheel changes and handling issues. I had a low-speed crash coming off the brakes at oggies and lost the front.

Qualifying was a nervous affair as we realised that we had to win all four races. We qualified in 2nd but on row three due to sharing the grid with the Yamaha Past Masters. The pressure got to me and I crashed at Nelson's whilst in 2nd place. Gutted. We knew the championship was gone and the next three races I finished 3rd, 2nd and then another win.

Due to us missing half the season, and a lot of people not doing the full season, we think we did all right. The real test will be 2018, as now I am the Bemsee Two-Stroke Representative and I know that there will be a few more entrants on the grid.

We would like to thank Keith and everyone at Wemoto for their continued support as it just wouldn’t be possible to enter without the help you provide.  

Our Skint Racing Facebook page now has nearly 500 followers and I'm hoping that the constant barrage of pictures of the bike with the Wemoto logos and hashtags that we use has gained some interest and more importantly new customers for Wemoto.  

Results and table for Blue Haze GP Formula 2017:
2nd in the championship
15 races entered
Seven wins
One 2nd place
One 3rd place
Two 4th places
Two DNF/crashes.

Posted by Guest Post
for Wemoto News on 08 November 2017 in Racing

Edited By: Daisy Cordell



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