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More progess for Cummins at Oulton

Thu, 05 May 2011

Conor Cummins' comeback from serious injury continued at the weekend with three days of activity at Oulton Park where he was contesting round 2 of the Metzeler National 1000cc Superstock Championship. The Blackhorse Kawasaki rider declared himself happy with the progress made around the undulating Cheshire circuit and was rewarded with a solid 23rd place in Monday's 15-lap race.
Like Brands the previous weekend, Conor got quicker and quicker in each session and after placing 35th in Saturday's free practice session, he took 3 seconds of his lap time in opening qualifying to move up to 26th place. Conditions were again good during Sunday's second and final qualifying session albeit with a stronger breeze but it was only in the final few minutes when the riders were able to go quicker than the previous day. A time of 1m42.760s saw another two tenths of a second come off his lap time and the Manxman was able to qualify straight for the main race on Monday afternoon and line up in 28th on the grid.
The 2.69-mile course was again blessed with blue skies and sunshine on Monday and another blistering start saw Conor jump up to 21st at the end of lap one. Briefly up inside the top 20, Conor was lying in 21st place at half race distance and part of a six-man group battling for 17th and although at one stage he'd dropped back to 25th, he dug deep in the final third of the race around the physically demanding circuit and took the chequered flag in a more than solid 23rd place.
Speaking later, Conor said: "As I've said all along I'm not looking at the results, I'm just concentrating on putting the laps in and this weekend has been another very good workout with good progress made. I had a few handling issues with the bike but we got things a lot better in time for final qualifying and I was able to qualify for the race without having to go into the 'Shoot Out' which I was delighted with and another cracking start got me up inside the top 20. Obviously, it would have been nice to have stayed there and got close to the points but I experienced a bit of brake fade mid-race and the lever was coming back to the bar and I was on the verge of pulling in as it was getting a bit hairy."
"It was quite an eventful race with lots going on out there so, all in all, I had a lot to consider but the brakes came back though so I stuck in there and worked hard right up until the very end of the race and it's been a really good, enjoyable weekend. It was heavy going to begin with but the team worked really hard and got the bike working how I wanted it to and I'm just pleased to have got another finish under my belt and have another relatively trouble free weekend. That's all I'm interested in at the moment and it's all good progress. I'm getting more and more comfortable and am enjoying my racing so I'll look for more of the same next time out."
Conor will be back onboard the Blackhorse Kawasaki at Croft in two weeks time for round 3 of the Metzeler National 1000cc Superstock Championship.

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