Cooper stuns with 2018 Sunflower Trophy win hat-trick

Picture: Derek Wilson

Buildbase Suzuki British Superbike star Richard Cooper took a sensational victory at today’s Sunflower Trophy race.

A newcomer to the event, Cooper took the win in the feature J.A.S. Finlay Superbike bike race giving him a hat-trick of wins over the weekend.

Cooper led from the start until six-time Sunflower winner Michael Laverty forced his way into the lead at the end of lap five pushing Cooper wide and on to the grass.

Danny Buchan also made the most of the opportunity following Laverty into second place. Cooper recovered after a lengthy piece of grass tracking rejoining the race in third place a few seconds behind the leading duo.

But he wasn’t to be beaten, he got the head down and after a couple of scintillating laps the wee man was back on the tails of the leading pair. Lap eight and it was Laverty’s turn to take to the greenery and Cooper snatched back the lead.

On the final lap Buchan dived under Cooper and back into the lead, going into the final corner then Cooper did the impossible and rode round the outside of Buchan on to the final straight taking the flag by 0.01 seconds with Michael Laverty bagging the final podium position. Dean Harrison fourth and Paul McClung completed the top five.

Glenn Irwin was a double winner in the Supertwin class. The first race looked like it was to be a good battle between him and Jeremy McWilliams but McWilliams slid off while in the lead giving Irwin a relatively easy win.

Race two the Junior Sunflower race again saw the pair fight it out at the front this time Irwin came out on top by the slender margin of 0.1 seconds with early leader British Junior Supersport champion Eunan McGlinchy finishing third.

Both Supersport races were won by Robert Kennedy with Richard Kerr and Aaron Clifford second and third in race one. Ulster Supersport champion Jason Lynn had set the fastest time in qualifying but a fuel pump fault meant he had to retire race one.

In race two he managed to get on the podium finishing eight-tenths of a second behind Kennedy with race one runner up Kerr in third.

Eugene McManus had a clean sweep in the Moto3 class with a convincing 10-second win in race two, the first outing being a little tighter when he beat Christian Elkin to the flag by only 0.23 seconds.

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