Two more wins, but Farquhar left frustrated
18 August 2010
Ryan Farquhar added two more victories to his staggering 2010 road racing haul during the Ulster GP Bikeweek, but was hit by mechanical and performance problems which prevented him fighting for more.
After another amazing season on the roads, the Dungannon star was hopeful of being able to run strongly at the front of the last International meeting of the year around the Dundrod circuit, where the likes of Ian Hutchinson, Bruce Anstey and Guy Martin were back in road racing action for the first time since the Isle of Man TT.
The action got under way on Thursday with the Dundrod 150, and Farquhar's meeting was immediately off to the worst possible start - the engine on his Superstock machine broke, leaving him unable to contest the Superbike race or take part in the Ulster GP practice.
The ever resilient KMR Kawasaki rider bounced back though, taking victory in the Super Twin race by a massive 14.9 seconds, and setting a new lap record of 116.118mph. His good fortune didn't last long; he was forced to retire from the Classic race after a wire broke on the 500cc Paton while he was battling with Olie Linsdell.
When the Ulster GP got under way on Saturday, in dry and bright conditions, Faruqhar started the Superstock race as one of the favourites for victory. He slotted into third place at the end of the first of seven scheduled laps but, despite lapping at an average of more than 131mph, he didn't have the pace to stay with Hutchinson and Keith Amor.
It emerged he was suffering an oil leak which was making his footpegs slippery, forcing him to ease the pace. Farquhar could offer no resistance as first Ian Lougher and then Gary Johnson flew past on lap six. However, fortune once again smiled on Farquhar as the red flag came out on that lap and the result was declared based on the order at the end of the previous lap, when Farquhar was lying third.
That oil leak would force Farquhar to sit out both Superbike races as well.
The first Supersport 600cc race saw Farquhar mired in the back on the opening lap, but he was up to seventh after the second circuit and embark on a thrilling tussle with the TAS Suzukis of Bruce Anstey and Cameron Donald. He got the better of the Kiwi on lap five, but Australian Donald flew past to claim sixth going into the last lap. This time it was Donald's turn to suffer misfortune, retiring on the final lap and handing the sixth place to Farquhar.
In the six-lap Super Twin race Farquhar was, quite simply, dominant. Leading from start to finish, he took the chequered flag by more than 40 seconds, also breaking his own two-day-old lap record with a new speed of 116.683mph.
His final race of the day, the second Supersport 600cc, saw more bad luck as, down on speed, he pulled in at the end of the opening lap.
“It's been an up and down meeting for me and after going really well during Wednesday's opening practice sessions, Thursday couldn't have been more different. When I started the big bike up, I heard a horrible rattle so had little option but to park it for the day and, aside from a comfortable victory in the Super Twins race, the whole team's efforts were concentrated on sorting the big bike out.”
“It put me on the back foot quite a bit as it meant I missed out on about an hour and half's practice compared to the other riders. Nick Morgan sent over the Superstock engine I'd used at the NW200 and TT and I got a flier of a start in the Superstock race, but my feet started to slip off the pegs quite early on and I simply had to ride as steady as I could.”
“When I looked down a couple of times, I could see oil on both sides so luck was definitely on my side when the red flag came out and I was pleased to get third given the circumstances. At the same time, I was a bit disappointed as I had to park the bike for the rest of the day and we've finished nearly every race on the big bike for the last two years so it was a shame to miss the two big bike races.”
“The Super Twin race was shaping up to be a real close race between myself and Dan Kneen but when he went out, it gave me some clear road and I was just able to enjoy the race. The ER6 is a fantastic wee bike and I was delighted to take another Ulster GP win so a big thank you to Kawasaki and everyone else that's helped me along the way with it.”
“As for the Supersport races, I was simply struggling for speed and we need to do a fair bit of work over the winter to get back on terms with the Hondas and Yamahas.”
“I'm just looking forward to the end of the season now and then, hopefully, get hold of one of the all new ZX-10 machines so we can have a real good go again next year.”
“Like I say, it's been an up and down meeting for me but it could have been a lot worse so thanks to all the team and to the fans for cheering me on.”