FORMER international race winner Dan Cooper has announced his retirement from road racing after what he says was an eye-opening Isle of Man TT last week.
The 2006 British 125GP champ is now setting his sights fully on his short circuit career, where he’ll continue to campaign the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 championship with the Impcross Engineering squad.
Cooper, whose CV boasts an Ulster Grand Prix Lightweight race win, a North West 200 podium, a top five TT finish and the TT Privateer’s title, decided to sit out Friday’s Dunlop Senior TT and instead watch from the sideline.
He made the call to axe road racing from his future plans shortly after that and while he admitted it hasn’t been the easiest of decisions to make, he feels the time was right.
“Competing on the Mountain Course has been the best thing I’ve ever done on two wheels and the last nine years have been amazing but with all the bad weather it just wasn’t happening for me this year,” Cooper revealed.
“On some occasions in practice, my mind was wandering all over the place and if you’re not 100 per cent focused and concentrated, that’s when things can go wrong.
“I wasn’t enjoying being out on the course and after what happened to Daley [Mathison], it put everything into perspective.
“When I was standing on the grid for the race watching all the other boys go out to race, there was part of me that wished I was back out there but after speaking with all my family and sponsors I feel that I’ve made the right decision and will focus my efforts now back on the short circuits.”
Cooper is set to be back in action this weekend at Brands Hatch and while his road racing tenure may be at an end, he’s still reported to be heading to his old stomping ground at Aberdare Park next month.