2018 Ulster GP: Cummins wins opening Supersport race

Picture: Derek Wilson

Conor Cummins (Padgetts Honda) grabbed his second Ulster Grand Prix victory – and first since 2009 – when he won Thursday evening’s Supersport race by a over eight seconds after seeing off the early challenge of Adam McLean (McAdoo Kawasaki) who took second place fresh from his earlier Supertwins win. Dean Harrison took third.

With the earlier rain having disappeared, track conditions were improving all the time and it was Cummins who led the field around at the end of the first lap, his advantage over McLean just half a second as Davey Todd slotted into third ahead of a slow starting Harrison. Peter Hickman was in fifth ahead of Lee Johnston although his race ended soon after as he retired to the pits on lap two.

Cummins and McLean continued to circulate in close company but the Manxman had extended his lead by a further half second as the duo continued to pull away from Todd and Harrison who were now disputing third. Hickman was having a lonely ride in fifth but a five rider battle was raging for sixth between Dominic Herbertson, Joey Thompson, Christian Elkin, Neil Kernohan and Paul Jordan.

At the end of lap three, half race distance, Cummins had increased his lead over to McLean to 2.1s and Harrison had now got the better of Todd for third. Hickman remained in fifth with only one second covering the riders occupying sixth to tenth.

Lap four saw Cummins post the fastest lap of the race, 125.591mph, and he was now some 4.4s ahead of McLean, which had become six seconds a lap later. Harrison had also broken the challenge of Todd who continued to impress nonetheless.

In the closing stages of the race, Cummins eked out more of a gap and he duly took the chequered flag 8.1s ahead of McLean with Harrison taking third. Todd settled for fourth ahead of Hickman whilst it was Thompson who came through to take sixth just ahead of Elkin and Herbertson, only 0.3s separating them at the end of the six laps.

Jordan retired at the end of the penultimate lap and it was Kernohan and Tom Weeden who completed the top ten.

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