Farquhar secures dramatic championship win
16 July 2010
The finale of the 2010 southern 100 – the Solo Championship Race – had to be run over two legs after a crash involving Michael Dunlop brought out the red flag. The result, decided on aggregate times, saw Ryan Farquhar secure the championship to cap off a dramatic festival of racing.
Dunlop escaped injury in his crash on the fifth lap of the race, but was taken to Noble's Hospital for a precautionary check-up. The race was stopped following the crash and the decision taken to run the final four laps in a separate leg and declare the result based on aggregate time.
Farquhar, on his 1000cc KMR Kawasaki, had held the lead at the end of the first leg and increased his advantage over the second four-lap stint to finish more than 13 seconds ahead of TAS Suzuki star Cameron Donald.
It was the Australian's best result on his first return to the Southern 100 since his victorious debut in 2006.
“It's been good work here this week, and despite not having ridden the circuit since 2007 and having to deal with less than ideal conditions, we did well. I don't race to finish second, but second today behind Ryan is a good result.”
“We have made progress all week, working our way towards the front of the pack – so to finish with a podium is satisfying. The bikes worked well and it's more miles under my belt before Kells. Let's hope the weather is better in Ireland.”
Third place went to James McBride on his 1000cc Yamaha.
Among the spectators enjoying the action were 2009 Southern 100 Solo Champion Guy Martin and Conor Cummins, both still recovering from injuries sustained in crashes during the 2010 Isle of Man TT Senior Race. 29-year-old Martin had hoped to make his racing return at the Southern, just a month after his crash, but withdraw on medical advice. Cummins, who suffered back, arm and leg injuries, faces a long road to full recovery and is unlikely to race again before next season.
Back on the racetrack, Dunlop may have been disappointed not to be able to fight for the championship, having started as one of the favourites, but he still enjoyed a massively successful Southern 100. After dominating practice times, he took victory in the Senior and two 600cc races, claiming a new track record for the 600 class on Thursday.
Brother William also had another successful outing on the 4.25-mile Billown course, claiming two 250cc wins, a 125cc victory and several podium finishes.
For Dungannon's Farquhar, the Solo Championship rounded off another good road race meeting. He also took wins in both 650cc races, another victory on his 1000cc, two third and a fourth – all of which will help cement his stranglehold on the Duke Road Race Rankings.
The final day of racing at the Southern 100 opened with the 600cc B race, where Paul Smyth took a dominante 21 second win from fellow Yamaha rider Andy Fenton, who had been locked in a thrilling battle with David Kennington on his 599cc TMM Yamaha, with Fenton taking the flag just 0.03 seconds ahead.
In the S&S Motors 600cc race, Michael Dunlop's record-breaking pace gave him a 3 second margin over brother William, with Farquhar third – a further 26 seconds back – and Donald fourth.
In the combined 250cc/650cc race, it was Hondas all the way as William Dunlop once again battled with Manxman Chris Palmer for the 250cc honours, eventually taking the flag 2.3 seconds ahead, with Dan Sayle in third. Farquhar was almost a minute down on the leaders on his 650cc KMR Kawasaki and only took the class win by 2 seconds from the charging Roy Richardson on his 650cc Morrissey Special.
The combined 125cc/400cc race was stopped on lap four because of oil on the raod, and the result declared based on the times at the end of lap three. That saw 400cc Yamaha-mounted Alistair Haworth take victory by 7 seconds from Dave Moffitt on his Honda. In the 125cc class, Manxman Palmer took the honours by just 0.4 from arch-rival William Dunlop.
The Sidecar Championship race, held between the two legs of the Solo Championship, was an absolute thriller, with former World Champion Klaus Klaffenbock, once again partnered by Dan Sayle, the passenger who guided him to two TT wins, taking victory. It was Klaffi's second win of the week, but at the end of eight laps his margin of victory over the second-placed 600cc LCR Yamaha outfit of Ian and Carl Bell was just 2.2 seconds, with Simon Neary/Jason Slous only a further second back.