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UGP: Cummins seizes pole for Dundrod opener
9 August 2012
Conor Cummins lived up to the promise of his Southern 100 podium romp last month by grabbing pole position for today's Dundrod 150 Superbike race in glorious sunshine on Wednesday.
The Tyco Suzuki rider clocked the fastest lap on his GSX-R1000 Suzuki at 129.429mph to claim the number one spot by 0.6 seconds from Northern Ireland's Michael Dunlop, who lapped at 129.004mph.
Dunlop suffered two slipped discs in his back while working on his bikes prior to last month's Armoy road races and the 23-year-old aggravated the injury during practice.
The Ballymoney star is in severe pain and his condition could have an adverse impact on his chances.
Manx rider Cummins missed the Isle of Man TT races through injury in June, but announced his return to form as he finished on the rostrum five times from five starts at the Southern 100.
His Tyco team-mate, Guy Martin - a winner in the Superbike class at the Ulster Grand Prix 12 months ago - was third fastest at 128.948mph, 0.7s off the top time.
Bruce Anstey on Clive Padgett's Honda (128.809mph), Craig Honda rider William Dunlop (128.775mph) and Gary Johnson on the second Padgett's Honda (128.067mph) were the leading six.
KMR Kawasaki's Ryan Farquhar only managed a single lap after experiencing machine problems with his ZX-10R.
William Dunlop was the fastest rider through the speed trap on Wilson Craig's Fireblade at 194mph, with Martin timed at 193mph, Dan Kneen at 192mph and Cummins at 190mph.
Dunlop took the top spot in practice for the Ulster Grand Prix Supersport class with a lap at 125.679mph, over one and a half seconds ahead of Anstey (124.707mph) with Michael Dunlop third at 124.153mph, 2.6 seconds off the time set by his brother.
Martin (123.785mph), Johnson (123.656mph) and Dan Kneen (123.232mph) were the top six, with Superbike pace-setter Cummins in seventh (122.950mph).
Rising prospect Dean Harrison claimed pole for the Challenge race at the Dundrod 150 meeting today with a brilliant lap at 126.251mph on his Kawasaki and starts as the clear favourite with his closest rival in qualifying, Rob Barbour, 4.2 seconds in arrears.
The combined 250cc/Supertwins session saw Farquhar lead the way with a lap at 115.445mph from Ivan Lintin (111.649mph).
Roads close at the Dundrod circuit at 10.30am this morning for final qualifying and the Dundrod 150 races, which serve as a warm-up to Saturday's main event.
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