Tuesday, June 25, 2024
HomeBritish SuperbikeHarry Cook's Donington Park Rollercoaster: Battling Adversity and Making Strides

Harry Cook’s Donington Park Rollercoaster: Battling Adversity and Making Strides

Matt Anthony Photography

Words and pics by Matt Anthony Photography

Harry Cook’s Donington Park Rollercoaster: Battling Adversity and Making Strides

Harry Cook's Donington Park Rollercoaster: Battling Adversity And Making Strides

Harry Cook, riding for the ROKiT Rookies Kawasaki team in the Quattro Group British Supersport Cup, experienced a weekend of challenges and progress at Donington Park. Despite facing technical issues and setbacks, Cook remained determined to improve his performance throughout the weekend.

Harry Cook's Donington Park Rollercoaster: Battling Adversity And Making Strides

Combined Free Practice sessions saw Cook finish 35th overall and 6th in the HEL Supersport Cup with a best lap time of 1:34.434. Reflecting on the early sessions, Cook stated, “Friday free practice in the morning for FP1 it was wet so we decided to not go out until the end of the session and the FP2 this was our shake down for the weekend and we were down on power due to a technical issue and the bike was slow in change of direction so we worked on this through the evening.”

Harry Cook's Donington Park Rollercoaster: Battling Adversity And Making Strides

Qualifying saw Cook secure 32nd place overall and 5th in the HEL Supersport Cup with a lap time of 1:33.713. Despite the improvement, Cook acknowledged, “We had a very good setting for qualifying but we struggled a little for change of direction still so we changed this for race 1 hoping we will get rid of some slight vibration and help with the change of direction.”

In Race 1, Cook battled through the pack, finishing 29th overall and 6th in the HEL Supersport Cup. However, he faced challenges with the bike setup still, losing valuable time in each corner. “We managed to get through to our race which is where I should be in my opinion. I battled through the pack but the direction we went with geometry and suspension wasn’t right and made it worse getting split seconds of vibration through every corner and we still had slow changes of direction and couldn’t get confident on the brakes,” Cook explained.

Determined to make improvements, the team made significant changes for Sunday’s warm-up session, which yielded positive results. Cook felt more comfortable with the bike’s handling and found some additional power.

Harry Cook's Donington Park Rollercoaster: Battling Adversity And Making Strides

Race 2 started with promise, but unfortunately ended in disappointment for Cook. While he felt the bike was performing well, a racing incident on lap 5 resulted in a crash, forcing him to retire from the race. Cook recounted, “Unfortunately on lap 5 I crashed due to a racing incident I tried to make a move and pulled alongside for an inside line overtake but it wasn’t to be and unfortunately we came off.”

Despite the setbacks, Cook remains optimistic about his progress and the team’s efforts. “Overall, we made some improvements over the weekend on my lap times. I got my PB at Donington this weekend with a 1.33 and managed to remove the issues we have been suffering with since Oulton Park. We also qualified and we had some good battles,” he reflected.

Harry Cook's Donington Park Rollercoaster: Battling Adversity And Making Strides

Looking ahead to the next round, Cook expressed his gratitude towards his team and personal support crew. “Thanks to all the ROKiT Rookies mechanics team and my personal team Dave Benoy and Stan Gordon mega job this weekend I loved working together to get these issues resolved,” he said.

As Harry Cook and the ROKiT Rookies Kawasaki team head to the next round, they will undoubtedly build upon the lessons learned and progress made at Donington Park.

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