RICHARD Cooper put his name back on the Stars at Darley trophy for the fifth time after a dominant weekend at Darley Moor’s famous event.
The Bennetts British Superbike regular was out in action on his Buildbase Suzuki machine and was up against a heavy-hitting entry list which included last year’s winner Ben Godfrey, Leon Jeacock, Lee Jackson, Ben Scranage and even TT legend John McGuinness.
While Godfrey was keen to build on his success at Assen in the BeNeCup a weekend earlier, Cooper was determined to take back the prize he had won four times before, at the track where his racing career began almost 20 years ago.
Topping the timesheets in practice with the only sub 54sec lap, he found the best part of a second in qualifying with a 52.97 to take pole ahead of Jeacock and Godfrey.
Cooper led the opening race from lap one, taking the win by seven seconds over Jeacock, while Godfrey finished third.
And he continued his winning ways in the second, beating Jeacock once again, this time by more than five seconds, as Lee Jackson powered his Kawasaki to third ahead of Godfrey.
“It’s always good to return to Darley Moor for the annual stars meeting,” he told UK Clubsport. “It was the first race track I ever rode back in 1999 so in a strange way it’s one I really enjoy riding and returning to each year to give a little bit back to the club.
“I’ve previously won this event 4 times, but through various different reason I’ve missed out in recent years so it was nice to get my name back on the trophy for a 5th time this year.
“The team gave me a great bike to ride and I can’t thank them enough for letting me ride at such a busy time of the season.”
Cooper is back in BSB action this weekend as the championship heads to Brands Hatch for its season finale, but is planning a few more outings before the season is finished.
“We’ve got a busy few weeks ahead, starting final BSB round this weekend at Brands,” he added. “After that it’s off to the Sunflower in Ireland on Friday and Saturday 19 and 20 October and then straight back to Mallory Park for the race of the year on the 21st.
“I fully believe we can end the season strong after recent results.”
Of the Darley Moor regulars, Ben Scranage was the highest finisher in both races, taking fifth in the first and eighth in the second, while crowd favourite McGuinness, who was giving the Norton a run at the event, scored an eighth and a seventh.
*Images: Tony Else