The decision to miss the Bush National Road Races by Ryan Farquhar was down to what he calls 'bullying' by the governing body, the Motor Cycle Union of Ireland (Ulster Centre).
Farquhar, who dominated the Irish roads season in 2009, was expected to be a front-runner at the weekend's event in Dungannon. His 2010 season had picked up where he left off last year, picking up victories at the Cookstown 100, and he'd enjoyed a much improved Isle of Man TT, securing two podium finishes.
However, the four-times Duke Road Race Rankings winner boycotted the Bush event amid a row over the eligibility of one of his bikes. Farquhar said he was bitterly disappointed not to be able to race at his home event.
“The MCUI (UC) can't change the rules as and when it suits them, yet they're bullying people around and, quite frankly, it's just not on.”
“Everyone I've spoke to, whether it be sponsors or friends, is right behind me so I made the decision to withdraw from the Bush meeting. It's my home event so I was bitterly disappointed not to be there, but I feel that I have to make a stand and stand up to the MCUI (UC).”
“I'm being penalised for the inadequacies of the MCUI (UC) who have failed to get their paperwork in order and have been telling people different things over the last few months over what is and what isn't allowed. It's simply not fair and I won't be pushed around by these bullies.”
The row erupted after Farquhar was told his self-built 450cc machine would no longer be able to compete directly with 125cc bikes at Irish National Road Races. He said that over the winter he was informed the 450s would be allowed to compete in direct competition to the 125s and built his own bike using a KX450F Kawasaki engine.
After using the bike successfully over the Easter weekend at Bishopscourt and Kirkistown, Farquhar rode the bike at the first road race of the season, the Cookstown 100, and defeated William Dunlop on his 125cc Honda by 1.179s after a thrilling race.
However, Dunlop protested, saying 450s shouldn't have been allowed to race alongside the 125s and, just before he left for the TT, Farquhar was told he had been removed from the results. An appeal was lodged and, although this has yet to be heard, Farquhar wasn't allowed to compete against the 125s at the Bush.