Philip Wain

STROUD'S Dan Cooper has enjoyed an excellent start to the Isle of Man TT races with no less than three top 15 finishes from his first three races.

The 27-year old has taken 14th in the Supersport and 15th in both the Superbike and Superstock races with three more races still remaining.

The former British 125cc champion opened his account in race week with a solid 15th place in Sunday’s delayed six-lap Superbike race.

Riding the Dan Cooper Racing/Space Centre Storage Honda, a near 125mph speed on his opening lap allowed him to slot into 22nd place, but from here on in, he steadily worked his way up the leaderboard and at two thirds race distance he was up to 18th place.

A lap later this had become 15th place and with the race being stopped early due to an incident involving Michael Dunlop and Scott Wilson, this was the position he was awarded.

The Supersport and Superstock races were subsequently rescheduled for Monday and Tuesday respectively and the 600cc race saw Dan have one of his best ever rides in the class.

Running inside the top 15 from the very start, a highly consistent race, which included his best ever 600cc lap at 122.967mph, resulted in Dan taking 14th for another silver replica.

The four-lap Superstock race saw Dan back out on the 1000cc Honda Fireblade where he picked up his second silver replica of the week. Sixteenth on the opening lap, he matched his personal best lap of the Mountain Course on his final lap, 126.375mph. to claim 15th place once more.

Cooper said: “It took me a couple of laps to get into the Superbike race and I had a bit of arm pump but the second half of the race felt really good and I enjoyed myself out there.

"I got stopped on the final lap just after the Mountain Mile, which was a shame as it would have been interesting to see what my lap speed would have been. Safety is obviously paramount though. I was pleased with my standing start lap and 15th was a good result and a good start to the week.

“I was really happy with the two rides and results in the Supersport and Superstock races and although you always want to finish higher up, I can’t be unhappy given the calibre of riders and teams that finished ahead of me.

"They’ve all got far bigger budgets than what we have and my aim is to win the TT Privateer’s Trophy, something which we’re leading at present. I’d love to get a 127mph lap in the Senior too but I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and see what happens.

Dan’s remaining races see him out in the second Supersport race on Wednesday and the Lightweight and senior races on Friday.