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28 September 2011

Thieves steal two race bikes

BMW Motorrad’s second Superstock 1000 title victory marred by theft of race bikes and equipment.

Richard Cooper takes title at Silverstone round – but thieves steal two race bikes, tools, wheels and equipment that night.

Buildbase BMW Motorrad rider Richard Cooper has secured the Metzeler National Superstock 1000 title at Silverstone after an action-packed race at the famous Silverstone circuit on 25 September. The 2011 title is BMW Motorrad’s second consecutive victory for the S 1000 RR in the high-competitive showroom-based series, following Jon Kirkham’s championship success last year

However, the team’s outstanding success has been overshadowed by the theft of over £100,000 worth of race bikes, tools, equipment and parts from the team’s base near Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire.

Richard Cooper’s Superstock S 1000 RR and John Laverty’s BSB bike were stolen between 21:30 and 03:00 following the team’s return from the Northamptonshire circuit. The thieves broke into the team's race truck and the locked key cupboard to obtain the keys to an LDV support van which housed the two motorcycles.

Meanwhile, they also loaded up their own van with valuable and unique parts and equipment including ten sets of wheels, three full Arrow exhaust systems, a brand new pair of Bitubo forks, a roller starter and all the team's new Bosch tools. The rented LDV support van has since been found burned out in Staffordshire.

Buildbase BMW Motorrad have offered a £5,000 cash reward to information leading to the return of the motorcycles or information leading to the arrest of the thieves. Anyone with information can contact team boss Stuart Hicken on 07969 056829.

Stuart Hicken, team principal, said: “This is an absolutely awful way to wake up. Yesterday we were on top of the world having taken the title, today we’re at an all time low. Having things stolen is a terrible experience, but when it’s something as organised and planned, and extensive, as this, it shocks you to the core.

“It’s too early to say too much, especially with the final round of the season just two weeks away. I hope that the motorcycles haven’t been destroyed. There are so many parts which have been custom made that they can be easily identified. We’re just hoping that we’ll get them back – which is why I’m offering a £5,000 reward for their return or for information leading to a prosecution.”

Before the news of the theft broke, Superstock 1000 Champion Richard Cooper said: “I’m feeling relieved! That was the hardest race of my life and definitely the worst start of my life,” said Richard after the title victory celebrations. “I fought back from 20th to sixth, all the while nervous of braking too hard or opening the throttle too fast. It’s a big result for me and for the Buildbase BMW Motorrad team.

“I’d like to thank BMW Motorrad for giving me the opportunity to ride the S 1000 RR these past two years, for helping me cure my arm pump and helping us win this championship. I look forward to the final round at Brands Hatch where I hope we can round off the season with another podium finish.”

Richard Cooper's missing BMW S 1000 RR
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