Richard Cooper to race BSB BMW F 900 R Cup with FHO Racing

Richard Cooper has announced that he will be racing this year's new BSB support series, the BMW F 900 R Cup, with FHO Racing, in the series' first season.

Richard Cooper, FHO Racing, 2023.

Richard Cooper has announced that he will compete in BSB's new BMW F 900 Cup series in 2023 with FHO Racing. 

The BMW F 900 R Cup is a new championship in the British Superbike series, running as a support category to the main Superbike class. It comes in this year as a replacement to the Ducati TriOptions Cup, which ran until last year with spec’ Ducati Panigale V2 machinery. 

As well as replacing a championship, in the Ducati Trioptions series, that had over a decade of history and which was well-established in BSB, the new BMW F 900 R Cup will be unique in BSB for its use of naked motorcycles, those being the BMW F 900 R, of course. 

Racing naked motorcycles is not a new idea, of course, and was basically the original version of superbike racing back in the 1970s and 1980s, before the arrival of WorldSBK in 1988 transformed superbike racing grids into the faired-sports-populated grids we see now in the major championships.

Over in the US, the MotoAmerica Super Hooligan class is dedicated to naked motorcycles, but in the British championship the new BMW spec’ series represents a new direction for BSB. Its commitment so far is relatively risk-free, since if the new series works it could provide the catalyst for more naked championships, potentially, and if it doesn’t work then the main product of BSB is relatively unharmed.

For Richard Cooper, a former National Superstock champion, the BMW F 900 R Cup is a new opportunity with a new team, FHO Racing, which gives him a strong chance of winning - both races and the championship.

And, of course, the team itself is of proven quality, having won TT races with Peter Hickman last year, and BSB races with the same rider the year before at Cadwell Park. 

The story of, and interest in, the BMW F 900 R Cup in 2023 generally extends beyond the track, but the arrival of a national champion like Cooper on the grid confirms the level of competition in the series will be high.

Richard Cooper said: “The deal for this season came about quite late in the day, but I’m happy we managed to get something sorted and turned around quickly, where I’m able to join an established team like FHO Racing. The F 900 R Cup will be an exciting series to get stuck into, the main thing is that my input is equal to what I would be putting into a National Championship class – I’m coming into this to win races.

"The main difference for me now, I guess, is my outlook into racing. I want to enjoy weekends, race with a smile on my face and give something back to the younger talent coming through like Kate [Walker, Cooper's FHO teammate in the 2023 F 900 R Cup]. I’ve raced in various one-make series' before and they’re classes I seem to excel in, which I think is down to my ability to adapt to different bikes quickly. I’d like to thank Faye and the team for this opportunity, and I’m looking forward to getting the season started.”

Faye Ho, FHO Racing Team Principal, said: “It’s great to have Richard joining the team in the BMW F 900 R Cup, I think he’ll be a great addition to FHO Racing and especially working alongside Kate [Walker]. His experience in the paddock, bike set-up and general race craft will be a huge benefit to Kate as she moves up into the British Championship.

"Richard is a former two-time Superstock champion; he’s a trusted pair of hands and we all know what he’s capable of. I believe we’re in for an exciting season with him onboard and I think he’ll keep everyone in the class on their toes.”

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