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Cooper strengthens grip on championship

Cal Cooper significantly increased his lead in the British 450 Championship after a hard-fought seventh round at a sun-drenched Oulton Park on Saturday.

Riding the immaculately-prepared JDF Racing RRV twin cylinder Aprilia, the 15-year-old gave himself an early Mad Sunday birthday present by winning the second of two double pointer races by an impressive five seconds, after being beaten by a mere 0.82 in the opener.

The intensity of the first encounter was such that Cooper, so close to setting the fastest ever lap in his class at the 2.78-mile Cheshire circuit during qualifying, in which he took pole, finally cracked it, only to have his new mark bettered by one of his main adversaries in a nail-biting last lap.

In between his main championship outings, Cooper, of St Jude’s, scored two second places overall and two class wins in the Supertwin 650 open championship, the second win being so nearly denied him when a rapidly deflating rear tyre nearly high-sided him late in the race.

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