View our picture gallery from Swindon superbike star Max Cook’s triumphant weekend at Thruxton in the British Superbikes Championship.
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Pictures taken by Steve Bird of Speedsnap photography.
Looking to build on his nine wins for the season in the Hel Performance British Standard Class Championship, Swindon’s Max Cook had the worst possible start as he crashed out during free practice.
Having set the second fastest time in the standard class, the 14-year-old crashed on his 10th lap at Village Corner – hitting a bump which caused him to lose the front end at 120mph.
Fortunately, Cook came away unscathed from the crash but his bike needed a new tank, chassis and fuel pump.
Hours later, Cook’s Wilson Racing Team had patched up his bike for second practice which saw the Swindon rider end the day with the fourth fastest time.
Saturday’s qualifying was hampered by the rain but Cook’s best time of 1:23.599 was the third fastest in his class.
Cook made a fast start to race one and he was quickly on the heels of leader Jack Scott but struggled to close the gap as he battled with a group of GP and standard class riders.
Scott though made an error on lap three as he crashed out at Seagrove, paving the way for Cook to take victory and enjoy the battle with the GP drivers in front of him.
Teammate Charlie Atkins made it a one-two for the Wilson Racing Team as he came home second.
Race two, the feature race, was reduced to 11 laps following several delays throughout the day at the British Superbikes meeting.
Cook lined up six positions behind the fastest standard class rider but made a superb start as he took the lead by the end of lap one.
Lap four saw him record his fastest time of the weekend (1:22.785) as he once again competed with the GP riders.
Standard class rival Thomas Strudwick was in Cook’s slipstream for the latter part of the race but failed to complete a successful passing move.
Wary that his rival might be teeing up a last lap manoeuvre, Cook dropped behind Strudwick on the penultimate lap and then used his slipstream to overtake through Brooklands.
With a GP rider following Cook on the passing move, he created a buffer between himself and Strudwick as he held onto the lead to claim his 11th win of the season.
“The start of the weekend wasn’t great,” admitted Cook. “but it got better and better.”
“I had a lot of issues with the bumps causing the bike to move around and the wind was very strong.
“In free practice I ran over a bump at the same time as a gust of wind and the front folded on me.
“Gary [Wilson] and the whole team were brilliant getting the bike back together for me again.
“In the first race I caught up with the leading rider really fast. I was only about two bikes behind him.
“Then he was off line and crashed. I knew I had a pretty good gap and just brought it home.
“Someone told me that another rider that fell later on, his bike only just missed hitting me towards the end of the race.
“In race two I started 17th and the fastest standard rider was quite a way up the grid.
“I knew I had some work to do. I don’t think he had the best of starts so I caught him up within the first lap.
“I was right on him and overtook him and we then stayed in a group.
“I knew he was right behind me the whole time. He would pass me down the straight and then roll off.
“So I sort of knew he was planning something. On the second to last lap I held back and he went past.
“Then I got in his slipstream and overtook him on the final lap and another rider came through so there was no way he could get me back into the last chicane.
Cook returns to action at Cadwell Park on August 18th.