Fresh from his Ulster GP success, Conor had to re-adapt to the different characteristics of the R1 Yamaha but with dry, sunny conditions for both qualifying sessions he did so with ease. Eighth in the first 30-minute session, a time of 1m32.130s in the second saw him jump up the leaderboard and he lined up for the 15-lap race in sixth place and on the second row of the grid.
With a perfect start, he found himself in fifth place at the conclusion of the opening lap, with the pack bunching up after Steve Brogan crashed out at the hairpin.
However, the first three riders were able to make a bit of a break after the spill and Conor became embroiled in a terrific six-rider dice for fourth with positions changing with frequent regularity. Initially pushed back a place by Marshall Neill, Conor was finding it difficult to keep the group behind him at bay because although he was quicker through the third and fourth sectors of the track, through the tight corners of the woodland section, he was losing out on the first and sector sectors - the two long, and high-speed, straights. One by one the rest of the riders overhauled him and although he could claw back the ground through the woods, there was no opportunity to overtake, very frustrating indeed for the 23-year old. However, he battled hard throughout the race and took ninth, still only four seconds adrift of fourth place.
Speaking later Conor said;
"It was a solid weekend for me here at Cadwell but extremely frustrating. Practice went extremely well and it was a case of 'happy days' when I took 6th place and the second row after qualifying but the race itself was hard work. I couldn't have asked for a better start and felt that I had the pace to go with John (McGuinness) and Adam (Jenkinson) who went on to finish second and third but when Steve went down it allowed them to get away from the rest of us.
I was also struggling a bit with grunt off the corners and with outright top speed and whilst that made it difficult for me to overtake, it gave the riders behind me plenty of opportunities!
I was really strong from the Mountain to the start and finish and could always close back up there but after the start was where I began to fall back slightly and the riders were queuing up behind me, eventually shooting by at the end of the back straight.
We're all working our backsides off in the team and I was battling it out for fourth place so I can't ask for anymore from them.
I'll just keep working hard and try my utmost to get back into the top six at the next meeting."
Coverage of the race will be on the British Superbike Extra programme on Thursday 3rd September at 21.45hrs, Channel 411 Eurosport 2.
Meanwhile Conor's next race will be at Croft, North Yorkshire for round 10 of the Metzeler National 1000cc Superstock Championship with the meeting taking place on September 11-13.
Pictures by Glynne Lewis