Former Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix outright lap record holder Conor Cummins says nothing other than victory is on his radar at the ‘World’s Fastest Road Race’ next week.
The Ramsey rider will return to the super-fast 7.4-mile Dundrod course with the official Honda Racing Fireblade and continues his association with Jackson Racing on a CBR600RR in the Supersport class.
Cummins, who previously topped the fastest laps leaderboard at the Ulster GP after a speed of 133.284mph set in 2009 set on his way to victory in the Dundrod 150 Superbike event on the McAdoo Kawasaki, said: “I feel in great shape and the bikes will be suited to the circuit. The rest is down to me and I’m confident of a win for both myself and the team.
“It’s been a good season so far and I know that I could not have ridden that bike any harder at the TT. The margins between riders now are just so fine and quite simply I could not have done any more.
“But I have to take something away from this year. There’s a job to do and I’ll be going for the win at the Ulster,” Cummins added.
“It’s that simple and nothing less will do.”
The 29-year-old twice finished on the podium at the Isle of Man TT after joining John McGuinness at Honda last year, including a superb runner-up finish in the flagship Senior race.
However, while the Manx hero wasn’t quite able to repeat the performance in June – clinching sixth in the Senior after retiring from the Superbike event – Cummins is satisfied with his consistency this season.
“I have to be happy with that performance, but there is still more to do,” said Cummins.
“The team has an impeccable track record at the TT and that experience can only benefit you across the season.
“Being able to utilise data from the previous year and draw upon the knowledge, I believe has enabled me to develop further and that was evident in the lap times that I managed to produce across the two weeks of the TT.”
Looking ahead to the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix next week, where practice gets under way on Wednesday, Cummins said the legendary Irish road race has a special appeal that ensures the world’s best riders keep coming back year after year.
“It’s an event I have always liked, testing the rider and coupled with the speeds, it is very easy to see why so many of us enjoy competing at the Ulster each year,” added Cummins, who proved his versatility with an impressive third place in the Elite class at the Three Sisters circuit in the UK Supermoto Championship earlier this month.
“To be honest, that was not part of the plan for the weekend. These guys are pushing hard and you’ve got to be on it to get to the front. It’s a result and hopefully a good sign of things to come in August.” Meanwhile, Michael Rutter will pay tribute to his father at this year’s Classic TT meeting, when the Midlands rider will contest the Motorsport Merchandise Formula One race on an F1 Ducati, identical to the machine his dad Tony rode to third place in both the 1984 Formula One TT race and TT Formula One World Championship.
Rutter, who will ride the Ducati in replica livery complete with matching leathers and helmet, will also compete in the Bennetts 500cc and Okells 350cc races for Ripley Land Racing.
Ballymoney’s William Dunlop will again ride in the 500cc and 350cc classes at the event for Davies Motorsport alongside Alan Oversby.