‘Fresh challenge’ as SSTK champ Richard Cooper joins Rutter at Bathams

Richard Cooper leaves Buildbase Suzuki to join rivals Bathams BMW to defend his Superstock 1000 title; Michael Rutter set for 31st season in BSB

Richard Cooper

Reigning National Superstock 1000 champion Richard Cooper will defend his title with the Bathams Racing BMW alongside series veteran Michael Rutter in 2020, it has been confirmed.

The British Superbike race winner swept to the 2019 National Superstock 1000 title with Buildbase Suzuki in a dominant showing that yielded 11 wins and 19 podiums from 20 races.

For 2020, Cooper remains in the class to defend his title but will do so with the Bathams Racing team, which finished runner-up to him courtesy of newly announced Tyco BMW BSB rider Taylor Mackenzie.

He will be paired with recently crowned 2019 Macau GP winner Rutter, who heads into his 31st season of racing on a BMW S1000RR that for the first time will be entered with official support from the German manufacturer.

“I’ve been with Hawk Racing [Buildbase Suzuki] for six years and had the best of times with them,” he said. “We won a lot of races and two championships together; I’ve got nothing but the utmost respect for everyone there.

“I’m looking for a fresh challenge now and would love to try and win back to back championships on different bikes, so when the seat became available at Bathams Racing, all the stars lined up for me.

“I’m already counting down the days until I get to throw a leg over the bike that pushed me so hard in 2019, but for now I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone at Hawk Racing for all their support over the years and wish them the best of luck for 2020.”