CONOR Cummins had his best set of results since returning from is 2010 Senior TT horror crash on the Verandah when he secured a hat-trick of podium finishes at the Ulster Grand Prix on Saturday to add to another in the Dundrod 150 last Thursday.
The Ramsey Rocket was in superb form, finishing third in both the Ulster GP Superbike races and again in the second Supersport race, having been edged out of the top-three in the first by 0.9 of a second.
To round off an exellent day, he was fifth in the Superstock race won by Michael Dunlop from Ian Lougher.
Man of the Meeting was Conor’s Tyco Suzuki team-mate Guy Martin who snatched the coveted title away from UK-based New Zealander Bruce Anstey by virtue of a faster lap, the pair having tied on points at the conclusion of the day’s racing.
Manxman Dan Kneen opened with a strong eighth place in Superstock race on his Marks Bloom Suzuki at an average speed of 127.610mph. Fellow former MGP winner Paul Duckett was 26th on his Honda Fireblade.
The first Supersport race was won by William Dunlop from Anstey, Lee Johnston, Cummins, Guy Martin, Michael Dunlop and Dan Kneen.
Guy Martin and Michael Dunlop had a close tussle in the first Superbike race and the latter was leading on the sixth and penutimate lap when he slid off at Lindsay Hairpin, handing victory to his rival.
Gary Johnson finished 5.49 seconds back with Manxman Cummins another 8.4s down in third. Dan Kneen retired on the final lap and Duckett was last of the 28 finishers.
The closest race of the day was the second Supersport event with Anstey denying William Dunlop a 600cc double by 0.194 of a second, with Cummins again taking third spot some 10.7s adrift. Dan Kneen was eighth.
Ryan Farquhar completed a full-set of international victories in the Supertwin class on his home-brewed KMR Kawasaki, beating team-mate Jamie Hamilton in a race red flagged at the end of lap three. Farquhar’s fastest lap of 118.461mph was the only lap record of a day when high winds took the edge off the top-end speeds.
Ryan Kneen, Dan’s younger brother, rode very well on the McKinstry Racing Kawasaki 650 to beat team-mate Adrian Archibald to fourth place by 0.23 of a second, having missed out on a podium place by 0.288s to Russ Mountford.
Ulsterman Davy Morgan gained his first 250cc race victory on the 7.4-mile course in the same event.
Riding the Hunts/McAdoo Racing Honda, Michael Dunlop won the second Superbike race by 0.360 of a second from Guy Martin. Conor Cummins picked up his third, third place of the day at an average of 130.673mph, crossing the line half-a-second in front of Gary Johnson. Dan Kneen was seventh and Duckett again 28th.
Two days earlier, Michael Dunlop limbered up for the Ulster with a 2.39s victory margin over Guy Martin in the Dundrod 150 Superbike race on the same course, with Cummins 4.3s adrift in third having qualified on pole 0.67s in front of Dunlop. Johnson was third and Anstey fourth, with Dan Kneen 12th and Duckett 33rd.
Farquhar won the Supertwin event by a wide margin of 11.5s from Jamie Hamilton, with Ryan Kneen an excellent seventh in his course debut.
The 125cc race was won by William Dunlop by 2.7s from Sam Wilson, with Olie Linsdell a distant third.
Lee Johnston won the National Challenge on his Ducati from Rob Barber (BMW), with Ryan Kneen ninth on the 600 Suzuki. Johnston also won the Newcomers on a Millsport 600 Honda from Dean Harrison (Yamaha), Russ Mountford (Yamaha) and Ryan Kneen who had a lap in excess of 120mph - with Sam Wilson and Ivan Lintin rounding off the top-six.
Rising star Lee Vernon died in Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital on Friday, 24 hours after crashing at Rock Bends in the Dundrod 150 Superbike race.
The 24-year-old Harley-Davidson technician from Hanley, Staffordshire made his Mountain Course debut in 2011, finishing 31st and 39th in the two Supersport races.
He was 38th and 42nd in the same races this year, but came more to prominance in last month’s Southern 100 when he scored a string of top-10 finishes including eighth in the main solo championship race.