When Jeremy Cook re-injured his surgically-repaired collarbone at Laguna Seca in July, he knew it was going to be a struggle to race in MotoAmerica again in 2021. Nevertheless, the former Marine recovered from surgery to re-plate his right clavicle in time for the round at New Jersey Motorsports Park Sept. 10-12 and scored a points-paying finish at MotoAmerica’s season finale last weekend at Barber Motorsports Park.
The pro racing veteran and BMW rider was cleared to resume racing shortly after the MotoAmerica round at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in August and finished 14th in the Stock 1000 contest on Saturday at the MotoAmerica Superbikes at Alabama round.
In Cook’s first race back from injury at NJMP, he finished 17th and dropped five seconds off his best Friday practice lap time during Saturday qualifying.
Cook originally shattered his right collarbone in a spectacular crash on the opening lap of the MotoAmerica Stock 1000 race at Road America in June and had surgery to piece the bone back together in time for the round at The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Wash., on June 25-27. Though Cook scored two 16th-place finishes at The Ridge without any impairment from the injury, the screws that were holding the plate and bones in place came loose at the Laguna Seca round.
Cook had his work cut out for him in the race at Barber, as a problem with his BMW S 1000 RR’s ECU did not allow him to switch his motorcycle into “rain mode.” Cook had to pilot the machine with its engine putting out maximum power in wet conditions Saturday, which put him at a disadvantage to other riders who were able to use “rain mode” to re-tune their engines for the challenging conditions.
Cook had an OK start to the Barber round. He put in the 17th-fastest lap in Friday practice and finished the Friday afternoon Qualifying 1 session in 10th – lowering his best lap time from practice by more than two seconds. Due to the issues with his BMW’s ECU, Cook had to skip the Saturday morning Qualifying 2 session.
Starting from 20th, Cook moved up to 15th on Lap 1, fell to 16th on Lap 2 and regained 15th place on Lap 5 due to attrition higher up the running order. Cook crossed the finish line in 15th but was later reclassified as the 14th-place finisher when another rider was disqualified from the race.
With the two points he earned for his 14th-place at Barber, Cook finished the 2021 MotoAmerica Stock 1000 season with six championship points — enough to rank 31st in the standings despite missing two rounds.
Cook and his team offer their thanks to the team’s many sponsors, technical partners and fans for a great year of racing. The team will announce its plans for the 2022 MotoAmerica season at the appropriate time.
Jeremy Cook / No. 81
“New Jersey was the first round I was allowed to race after the second surgery, and it was a test of will. I had good strength for the short sessions there but didn’t have the stamina I needed to be as competitive as I wanted to be in the race. Once the arm fatigue kicked in, everything else started to hurt as I was trying to muscle the bike around. I was looking forward to this round, though Barber isn’t my favorite track. With the possibility of rain here, I figured that would be the great equalizer. My motorcycle’s current engine has about 2,600 kilometers on it, which is pretty long in the tooth and in need of an overhaul. Unfortunately, we had another gremlin with the ECU. Without rain mode, the power management and delivery are a lot more difficult to manage, especially with a quarter-turn throttle. It was pretty scary out there, especially during the race as it went from raining to a drying track then back to light rain. I think we definitely could’ve been in the top 10 if we’d had rain mode working, but it was a good weekend overall. We’ve already started tearing down the engine and may have it ready to compete at Daytona or the WERA Grand National Finals in October. I’d like to thank my wife Stephanie, Derek Dixon, Dakari Harris, Gabby Richmond and Veterans Empowered Through Motorsports for helping me accomplish what I did this year. Having them at the track was the such a great experience and something I can never thank them enough for — especially during this season’s very challenging times.”
Header photo credit: Brian J. Nelson