Isle of Man TT ace Conor Cummins says he is enjoying his racing and building confidence, despite missing out on the points in his latest outing.
The Manxman finished 18th in the latest round of the British National Superstock 1000cc Championship, held at Kent’s Brands Hatch circuit on Sunday.
The Blackhorse Kawasaki rider was hoping for a second consecutive points finish, but missed out by just 2 seconds.
Despite that, it was a strong ride from Cummins and he is confident for the rest of the season.
“It’s a new bike and we’re learning all the time, continually making strides forward so it would be great if we could get some solid, consistent finishes in the final few rounds.”
“I’m enjoying myself and am getting ever closer to being where I want to be so a big thanks to everyone in the Blackhorse Kawasaki team and my personal sponsors – we’re not a million miles away so we can be confident heading to the next round.”
A solid start to the weekend saw Cummins post the 19th fastest time in the first qualifying session around the 2.43-mile GP circuit, and he went quicker again in the second and final session, taking three tenths off his time to record a new best of 1m30.659s.
Although he slipped back to 22nd, he was only just over 1.5s off pole position and well in contention for scoring points.
An excellent start to the 15-lap race made that possibility come closer to reality as he leapt up to 16th place at the end of the first lap, right on the tail of fellow road racer John McGuinness.
Cummins remained there until lap 4 when fellow Kawasaki rider Patrick Medcalf pushed him back a place to 17th. Despite that, Cummins was still in contention for the points as part of an eight-rider group battling for 12th. Although Chris Northover and Lee Costello overhauled him, he remained in 18th when team-mate Victor Cox crashed out. Hopes of climbing any higher were ended when the race was stopped prematurely due to a rain shower.
“Whilst I didn't finish in the points, I thoroughly enjoyed the race and learnt an awful lot about the bike so it should stand us in good stead for the rest of the season.”
“I got a really good start and made a good jump forward so the plan was to run as consistent a pace as I could. I was right behind John so wanted to follow him, but I made a couple of mistakes here and there and struggled for consistency which was why I ended up dropping back a bit.”
“It's been hard to find a good set-up this weekend, but the bike was a lot better for the race and if it wasn't for my little mistakes I'm sure we could have been in the points.”
Cummins returns to the roads at the Ulster Grand Prix this week, linking up with the McAdoo Racing Kawasaki squad for the Dundrod circuit showdown.