Great Manx hope Conor Cummins got to grips with the new Tyco TAS Suzuki Superbike during a tyre test at Kirkistown in Northern Ireland this week as next month's North West 200 and the Isle of Man TT races loom ever closer.

Cummins remains the Isle of Man's best chance of providing a local victory at the TT in June and expectations are high that the Ramsey resident can recapture the form that saw him light up the world famous road race in 2010 before a serious accident in the Senior race almost cost him his life.

The 26-year-old missed out on a golden opportunity to win his maiden TT race in the Superbike event when a retirement robbed him of what looked like certain victory.

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He was also in the hunt for honours in the Senior race in 2010 before he crashed the McAdoo Kawasaki on the Verandah section of the course, sustaining a string of serious injuries.

A blow-par Cummins returned to action in 2011 but he now feels back to his old self and with the backing of Northern Ireland's Tyco Suzuki team behind him, is aiming to claim a coveted success on the infamous Mountain Course.

He tested the new GSX-R1000 Superbike at Kirkistown in Co Down, plus a Superstock-spec GSX-R1000 and the British championship-winning Supersport 600 machine.

All the bikes were fitted with road racing-specification Pirelli tyres as Cummins builds towards next month's North West 200 prior to the TT.

"That was a really productive two-day test on the Tyco Suzukis at Kirkistown. The team built the Superbike up and it gave me a chance to clock up the miles in readiness for the start of the international roads at the NW200 in May," he said.

"Two hundred laps certainly taught me a lot about the big Superbike. The new GSX-R is an awesome bike to ride and I was smiling from ear-to-ear from start to finish. I really do believe it will be a great bike for the roads.

"The weather was great for both days despite what the forecast predicted, which meant we could try different tyres," added Cummins.

"The Pirellis are pretty impressive anyway, but the ones we ran at the test were even more impressive, which fills me with confidence going forward."

British Superbike rider Alastair Seeley also participated in the test as he prepares for the North West 200, the only road race the reigning British Supersport champion competes in.

Seeley, who concentrated his efforts on the Superstock and Supersport machines, said: "I was really happy to get back onto my GSX-R600 Supersport bike. It was so nice to ride again and I really felt like I was on rails at Kirkistown this week on the wee bike.

"I also tested the GSX-R1000 'stocker and we tried three different Pirelli tyre combinations. Again the bike felt really good and in certain areas it actually felt better for me than the Superbike.

"So that has helped on a number of fronts and we can take away some very valuable information. We were very lucky to get warm and sunny conditions at Kirkistown and I enjoyed working with Conor. He's a top lad."