by Gary Inman
The two-metre tall, Isle of Man TT specialist, Conor Cummins is the first in a series of exclusive sponsored rider interviews for the AGV and Dainese blog.
Date of Birth
27 May 1986
If you weren’t racing, what would you be doing?
I reckon I’d have gone into engineering. I have an interest in making things. I worked in banking for a while. Not the best decision I’ve ever made, but I needed the money to go racing and that’s what I did. Any day not working in a bank is a good day.
What’s your favourite corner?
The first one that comes to mind is Ballagarey on the Isle of Man TT course. It’s not far into the lap, just a few miles from the start. It’s a right-hander taken flat out in top gear on a Supersport 600, you just have to roll the throttle a bit on the Superbike, so it’s over 165mph (265kph). You’re flat-out, uphill, you can’t see the corner, you’re trusting your wits and your judgement till the last split-second. You can see the top of the hill, but the corner is immediately after it. You have to be leant over before you’ve reached the crest, so before you have even seen the apex, or you can’t take it fast enough to win the race. On the outside of the corner are houses, telegraph poles and walls. I know someone who lives in one of the houses. People have died crashing at this corner. One of my dad’s mates was killed there during the TT and it’s where Guy Martin crashed in 2010. It’s a notorious corner.
What’s the best bit about being a professional racer?
I get to race bikes full-time. That’s it.
Lying flat on your back in hospital. But even positives come out of that. You learn something. However good or bad things get you still learn something. That’s what I love about bike racing.
Finish this sentence: Winning is…
If you could race in any era, when would it be?
Now. I’m not taking anything away from the past, they were really hard days and I have nothing but respect for the riders, but the depth of talent on the roads now is incredible. Go to a major road race and any of the top 20 could win. There’s a potential for every rider at the TT this year to have done a 120mph lap. That’s phenomenal. It’s crazy.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
To be able to read minds. It would help with a lot of situations.
Do you have a motto you live your life by?
There’s a Manx saying, Traa-dy-Liooar, it translates as ‘Time Enough’, basically all in good time.
Finally, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Less is more.
Conor was born on the Isle of Man during TT fortnight and could see the famous 37.73-mile course from his bedroom window when he was growing up. He had a horrific 150mph (240kph) crash (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y07yt87lhEA) on the Mountain while battling for the lead of 2010 Senior TT. He badly broke his spine, arm and knee. Incredibly, just one year later he was back at the TT challenging for podiums while his spine was held together with two long sections of metal bar and numerous screws. For the 2010 season Conor has joined Tyco Suzuki, one of the leading team’s in UK racing. His team-mates are Josh Brookes and fellow Dainese/AGV riders Guy Martin and Alastair Seeley. He will compete at the International road races, some smaller national road races in England, Ireland and the Isle of Man, and in selected British Superbike rounds. See him at the Northwest 200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster GP.