Cook tipped to be on the podium “sooner than later”

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Swindon superbike star Max Cook has been tipped to earn a podium place far earlier than expected by his team boss Gary Dawson.

After clinching another outstanding performance in the HEL Performance Motostar Championship last weekend at Brands Hatch, Cook’s manager declared he can ask no more of his young rider.

The 13-year-old dug deep to claim ninth position for the Repli-Cast UK Racing Team in Saturday’s combined qualifying session at Brands Hatch’s Indy circuit.

Starting from row three on the grid, Cook comfortably held his ninth position during the early laps of race one.

Despite having never ridden the HRC Honda-powered Moto 3 around the Brands Hatch track, Cook soon found himself chasing the leaders and quickly overtook reigning champion Edward Rendell and fellow Swindon rider Charlie Nesbitt.

Cook then settled into fifth position and, with no threat from behind, clinched a result that only dreams are made of in what is his rookie season on this stage.

Race two saw Cook tied up in a four-way battle with Eugene McManus, Brian Slooten and Mike Brouwers and the youngster held his own against these more experienced riders.

Cook was eighth after lap 17 and moved up to seventh before taking the chequered flag to finish the weekend with a 20-point haul.

The Swindon rider now lies sixth overall in the championship standings.

Cook team boss Dawson was delighted with such an amazing performance, saying: “Again, Max simply did all we could ask of him and rode fantastically all weekend to score some really good points.

“He has continued to apply himself in a difficult situation, and to come fifth in the first race on the Honda shows his commitment to the very end.

“His efforts and natural speed indicate that we will be fighting for podiums sooner than later and this is unheard of for such a young man in his rookie season.

“A massive well done to Max for rewarding the team for their efforts with great results.  Sixth in the Championship doesn’t come easy and he is going from strength to strength.

“Once again a massive thanks to all my team for their hard work and dedication in variable weather conditions.”

A delighted Cook said: “I came away from Brands with my best place of the season with a fifth in the first race which was amazing considering the weather was all over the place.

“Ended a brilliant weekend at Brands Hatch with a seventh place finish in the second race (promoted from eighth due to other rider penalty). So chuffed to be with the higher group of riders and battling for position, which was loads of fun.

“I’d like to say a massive thank you to the team for a great bike and working so hard to get a great set up.  I’d also like to thank Danny Webb for all the help and support, I couldn’t do it without you.

“A special thanks must also go to Neil and Barbara for coming over from Spain to see me and all your help and of course to all my sponsors for their support, as couldn’t do it without them.

“This was an amazing weekend and to come away now sixth in the premier “open championship” is a dream come true. Thank you everyone.”