ULSTER GP: Gary Johnson and Conor Cummins ruled out through injury

Gary Johnson on the Lincs Lifting Honda at the Isle of Man TT in June
Gary Johnson on the Lincs Lifting Honda at the Isle of Man TT in June

Leading international road racing duo Gary Johnson and Conor Cummins have been ruled out of the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod.

Lincolnshire rider Johnson, who won his second race at the Isle of Man TT in June on the Smiths Triumph in the opening Supersport event, sustained a broken collarbone, a broken shoulder and four chipped vertebrae only 24 hours later when he came off on the exit of Ramsey Hairpin in the Superstock race.

Johnson had hoped to be fit enough to compete at the world’s fastest road race but has been forced to sit out the last of the ‘big three’ international road races of 2014.

Manx rider Cummins, who was back to his best with a superb ride to second place in the Senior TT on the Honda Racing Fireblade, is also sidelined after breaking his forearm following a crash on the Jackson Racing Honda Supersport machine at the Southern 100 in July.

Ulster GP Clerk of the Course Noel Johnston said: “Conor is ruled out unfortunately; he was coming up until this week but sadly he’s had to withdraw because the Ulster Grand Prix has come too soon for him.

“Gary is also ruled out and I spoke to him this morning (Thursday) and he has also had to pull out due to his injuries.

“Obviously I’m disappointed and I was hopeful that both would have made it because it would have been a cracking field of riders, but there’s not a thing we can do about it and it’s beyond their control.

“Obviously they’re both experienced enough to know that if they’re not fit enough it’s best to give it a miss and I certainly wouldn’t want them out there either if they’re not 100 per cent,” he added.

“In saying that we still have an excellent entry with the likes of Michael Dunlop, Guy Martin, Bruce Anstey and Ian Hutchinson plus newcomers like Peter Hickman, Glenn Irwin and Danny Webb.

“Peter Hickman was over to see the circuit again this week on Tuesday and Wednesday and he’s certainly done his homework on the place, so he could certainly surprise a few people on his debut.”

Practice for the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix gets underway on Wednesday, August 13 with roads closing at 12pm.

Final practice and the Dundrod 150 meeting takes place on Thursday, August 14 with roads closed from 9.30am. Roads will also close at 9.30am on Saturday, August 16 for the main Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix race programme.

Admission wristbands cost £25 (all-week entry) with U16s free. Admission to the event on Wednesday and Thursday only is £15.