Sports News

Cummins enjoys strong race comeback

Thu, 05 May 2011  10:40


Only ten months after his terrible Isle of Man Senior TT crash, Conor Cummins enjoyed an excellent race weekend at Brands Hatch to finish 18th in the opening round of the Metzeler National 1000cc Superstock Championship. It was the Manxman's first race since fighting back from a catalogue of injuries and he was rewarded with an excellent finish and four solid days of practice and race action on the new ZX-10R Blackhorse Kawasaki that saw him getting quicker and quicker as the weekend wore on.
 
With hot, sunny conditions throughout practice and qualifying, Conor got his weekend underway with the 16th fastest time in the opening qualifying session on Saturday but with hotter track conditions on Sunday he was unable to better his time and, subsequently he ended with the 17th fastest time in his group. That meant he had to go into the 14-lap ‘Shoot-Out’ race in order to try and qualify for Monday’s feature race but, grateful for the extra track time to help continue to build his fitness up, Conor put in a great ride to claim second thus taking his place on the grid on Monday.
 
That meant he lined up in 30th place on the grid for the feature 24-lap race but a brilliant start saw him elevated up the order only for the red flag to come after just 3 laps due to an incident involving team-mate Victor Cox and Jonathan Howarth. 18th on the grid for the 16-lap re-start, a solid start saw Conor move up to 16th and on the brink of the points although he just didn't quite have the pace to close the gap to the five-man group dicing for 11th. Instead, he found himself fighting it out with Gerard Kinghan and Seb Bulpin and he ended up crossing the line in 18th position, an excellent effort given he only came out of hospital last August and has spent the entire winter months fighting to get fit.
 
Speaking immediately after the race, a delighted Conor said: "To get that first race out of the way feels absolutely brilliant and all weekend I've just been getting better and better. Practice went well and although the second qualifying session didn't quite go to plan, I was glad to get the extra mileage in the Shoot Out race and we were able to try a few more things with the bike which really helped with the set-up. I achieved my goal of getting into the race proper and after that anything else was going to be a bonus."
 
"As it turned out, I got a mega start and achieved more than I thought I could. It's very much work in progress but I feel like a racer again and to be battling it out close to the points after all I've been through is pretty good going in my book. I've got to say a big thanks to the team for making my life so much easier this weekend as they've absolutely worked their backsides off. I've also got to say a massive thank you to them and all my sponsors for sticking by me through the hard months I've had. To sum it up, I'm chuffed to bits!"

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