Ulster GP: Conor Cummins says experience paid off as Manx rider hails Supersport triumph

Padgett's Honda rider Conor Cummins celebrates his victory in the Supersport race at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix on Thursday.
Padgett's Honda rider Conor Cummins celebrates his victory in the Supersport race at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix on Thursday.

Supersport winner Conor Cummins said his experience paid off as he returned to the top step at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix for the first time since 2009.

The race was re-run over the full distance of six laps after being red-flagged initially due to heavy rain showers.

Conor Cummins (Padgett's Honda) leads Adam McLean (McAdoo Kawasaki) in the opening Supersport race at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix on Thursday.

Conor Cummins (Padgett's Honda) leads Adam McLean (McAdoo Kawasaki) in the opening Supersport race at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix on Thursday.

It was Cummins’ second Dundrod success after his maiden win in the Dundrod 150 Superbike race nine years ago on the McAdoo Kawasaki.

The Padgett’s Honda rider saw off young prospect Adam McLean to win by 8.1 seconds on the Padgett’s Honda, with Dean Harrison third on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki.

A jubilant Cummins said: “The bike was faultless and I enjoyed that.

“We made the tyre choice straight from the off and stuck with it and I think experience counted for a lot there – the Padgett’s team’s knowledge and my own.

“We used an intermediate front and a dry rear and it was the correct choice.

“I’m well happy and thanks to all the team. I’m struggling to take it all in at the moment and I’m so happy to be back on the top step after all these years,” he added.

“It wasn’t an easy race but I just got my head down and got into a rhythm.”

Runner-up McLean kept in touch with Cummins for the first few laps on the McAdoo Kawasaki before dropping back, although the Ulster rider was delighted with second place.

“If you had said I’d get a podium in the 600 class I’d probably have laughed at you. I pushed on at the start with Conor but he’s riding really well and he broke the tow,” he said.

“Obviously he opened up a gap from there but I knew I had a bit of a gap on the guys behind me so I just maintained that and brought it home in second. It has finally come good for me now at an international and it shows what we are capable of, so hopefully we can have another good day on Saturday.”

English rider Harrison had no complaints as he finished in third on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki after seeing off Davey Todd (Burrows Honda).

Harrison said: “I didn’t get the best of starts, which made life hard for myself, but I got into a rhythm and I had a bit of a do with Davey. I broke him to get third but I didn’t have the time or the pace to catch the boys in front, so I settled for third.”

Peter Hickman – a double Supersport winner last year – finished a lonely fifth on the Trooper Beer Smiths Triumph, a long way clear of Joey Thompson (ILR Kawasaki).

Christian Elkin (Bob Wylie Yamaha) and Dominic Herbertson finalised the top eight.

Lee Johnston was a retirement on the Padgett’s Honda.