Richard Cooper, who wrapped up the 2011 Metzeler National Superstock 1000 Championship at Silverstone two weeks ago, will be competing in both the Superstock 1000 and British Superbike races at this weekend's season finale at Brands Hatch.
The Nottinghamshire rider holds an unassailable 46.5-point lead in the highly competitive production-based series, enough to secure his first title victory - and the second consecutive Superstock 1000 title for BMW Motorrad's S 1000 RR. Cooper will be riding both his Superstock 1000 S 1000 RR and the team's second BSB-spec bike.
Celebrations of the victory were cut short, however, as the Buildbase BMW Motorrad team's compound was broken into on the evening after the race, with thieves stealing a support van, Richard's Superstock machine, a BSB-spec S 1000 RR and tens of thousands of pounds of tools and race parts. However, the two race bikes have been recovered intact - spotted hidden in a road-side field by an eagle-eyed BMW-riding member of the public
Stuart Hicken, team principal, said: "First of all, I have to thank Martin Quigley for discovering our missing bikes. His vigilance means we're able to race at the final round of the season and allow Richard to hopefully finish his year in style. Richard's hard work and consistency this year will be rewarded with the chance to compete in British Superbikes, and Martin and his wife will be the welcome guests of the team at the race.
"Both Richard and Barry Burrell spent the weekend racing at the Stars of Darley Moor event where they finished ahead of John McGuinness, Luke Stapleford, Keith Amor and Ian Lougher. Richard won both races on the BSB-spec bike he'll be running this weekend, providing some very setup time and on-track experience. Barry finished second in both races on his EVO-spec machine. In addition, both Richard and Barry broke the lap record and overall race record several times, with Richard eventually setting the fastest lap time of the event.
"We're delighted to be able to compete in the final round and, despite losing much of our equipment and spares to the thieves, thanks to the help and support of our friends in the paddock and the motorcycle industry, Mr Quigley, and the very hard work of the team, we'll be able to finish the season on a high. With Richard Cooper racing in both Superstock and BSB, Barry Burrell aiming for a top-three finish in the BSB-EVO series and Lee Jackson riding our second BSB bike, it's going to be another busy, but hopefully successful, weekend's racing."
Qualifying and the first of the weekend's BSB/BSB-EVO races will be show live on Saturday on British Eurosport 2.
Superstock 1000 championship standings
1) 190.5pts – Richard Cooper (Buildbase BMW Motorrad)
2) 144pts - Danny Buchan (MSS Kawasaki)
3) 130pts - Luke Quigley (Astro BMW)
4) 116pts - Tristan Palmer (GBMoto Honda)
5) 104pts - Howie Mainwaring (MSS Kawasaki)
BSB-EVO championship standings
1) 403pts - Glen Richards (WFR Honda)
2) 321pts - Graeme Gowland (WFR Honda)
3) 290pts - Barry Burrell (Buildbase BMW Motorrad)
4) 246pts - Patric Muff (Tyco Honda)
5) 228pts - Scott Smart (Moto Rapido Ducati)