Manxman Conor Cummins proved that Thursday’s win and his new outright lap record in the Dundrod 150 Superbike was no fluke when he took the £4000 first prize in Saturday’s eight-lap Ulster Grand Prix Superbike feature race.
But it was an incredibly close fought scrap with Cummins, Ian Hutchinson, Guy Martin and Gary Johnson separated by just 1.57s after almost sixty miles of high-speed action.
Cummins lap record of 133.282mph didn’t go, but all four riders were lapping at over 132mph.
It was Cummins’ first international road race victory and the McAdoo Kawasaki rider said: “It wasn’t easy out there. I took the same attack as I did on Thursday (when he won the Dundrod 150 national race). I got the holeshot and got my head down. But then Guy came by me and it turned into a real scrap. What a race! On the last lap we came up on a backmarker at Joeys and I just nipped through and the rest of the boys got held up.”
Hutchinson set the fastest lap of the race on the penultimate lap with the Padgetts Honda only to be cheated by the backmarker on the last lap.
He said: “I thought I could have won that but Dave Woolams was in the way at Joeys. Conor nipped through and I had to wait.”
Martin was third on the Hydrex Honda and in a state of despair. “It seems like I’m doomed,” he said.
“The bike was megga stable through the fast stuff earlier in the week but I struggled in the tighter bits to get it turned.
"We made some changes and I made up time in the slower bits but it screwed me in the fast stuff. Third place? Aaaargh!”
Johnson was the fourth player in the high-speed dice, despite his relative lack of experience on the course and survived a moment at Quarry Bends,
“I thought Guy was coming under me so I let go of the brake – but I let go too early and ran onto the grass and Guy came by. I’m happy though.
"I led it twice and I was quicker in most places except the two road-ends where I was strolling in first gear. We’ll changed it for the next race to give it more grunt. But it was an awesome race."
Subtle bike changes obviously worked for both Martin and Johnson because the finished 1-2 in the final superbike race after yet another epic encounter. Hutchinson and Cummins again made up the high-speed quartet.
Martin took the honours by a tenth of a second – his first really major victory of the season (though he has won at Scarborough and the Southern100).
Martin wasn’t exactly lost for words but the emotions were flowing fast and what he said came like a scatter -gun: “Oh my word. Good racing. We made a little step (with set-up) and I so wanted that.
"I’ve not won anything (all year). Mega. Mega. Over the moon boss. When you look back to the state of the weather this morning and we finish with this. I think I’ll have a few shandies tonight.”
Johnson was a bit more measured in his comments but also overcome by the frantic track action on track. “It was close out there.
"There were three changes of lead on that last lap. I got him at Cochranstown then he parked it in the next corner (Quarterlands). I thought I’d got him at the Hairpin and I was pushing, pushing around the last corner (Dawsons).
"I could have done with a longer straight (the bikes are still cranked over when they take the chequered flag).”
1 Conor Cummins, McAdoo Honda
2 Ian Hutchinson Padgetts Honda
3 Guy Martin, Hydrex Honda
4 Gary Johnson, Uel Duncan Honda
5 Bruce Anstey, Relentless by TAS
6 Ryan Farquhar KMR Kawasaki
1 Guy Martin, Hydrex Honda
2 Gary Johnson, Uel Duncan
3 Ian Hutchinson Padgetts Honda
4 Conor Cummins, McAdoo Honda
5 Ian Lougher, Black Horse Finance Yamaha
6 Adrian Archibald, AMA Suzuki