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Ryan Farquhar named as Ireland's top rider of 2012

'I'm in total shock to have won it, especially when you look at the riders I was up against' - Ryan Farquhar
Road racer Ryan Farquhar beat off stiff opposition as he was crowned Irish Motorcyclist of the Year for a fourth time in Belfast.

The Northern Ireland star, who quit the sport last year following the death of his uncle in an accident at the Manx Grand Prix, collected the prestigious Joey Dunlop trophy in front of a sell-out crowd.

The annual award is decided by a public vote and a panel of judges.

Farquhar was one of seven riders nominated for the award along with World Superbike pair Eugene Laverty and Jonathan Rea, British championship duo Keith Farmer and Jack Kennedy, fellow roads contender Michael Dunlop and motocross ace Graeme Irwin.

The 36-year-old won the inaugural Supertwin races at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT in 2012, with Farquhar's KMR Kawasaki machines filling the top three positions at the North West, where he was joined on the rostrum by Jeremy McWilliams and Michael Rutter.

Rutter also made the podium at the TT, underlining the superiority of Farquhar's KMR Kawasaki twins last season.

The experienced Ulsterman completed the full set of international Supertwin victories at the Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod, where teammate Jamie Hamilton took the runner-up spot.

However, Farquhar's achievements in 2012 weren't confined solely to the Supertwin class, with the Co Tyrone man finishing on the rostrum in the Superstock race at the TT, taking third place behind John McGuinness and Michael Dunlop.

He was back on the podium in the second Supersport TT race, finishing third again behind Dunlop and Cameron Donald.

Speaking at the awards, an emotional Farquhar said: “I'm in total shock to have won it, especially when you look at the riders I was up against.

“It's the icing on the cake and I just want to say thanks to everyone who voted for me.

“I've had a fantastic career, but it was a struggle at the start and so many people helped me along the way, so thanks to them,” he added.

“Road racing has been good to me and I want to try and help young talent coming through and try and keep the sport going, because it's going through a tough time at the minute.”

Honda World Superbike star Jonathan Rea was named Short Circuit Rider of the Year, while Michael Dunlop received the International Road Racer of the Year gong.

Keith Farmer, who wrapped up back-to-back British championship titles as he clinched the National Superstock 1000 crown in 2012, received the Adelaide Outstanding Achievement Award.

Former Grand Prix racer Jeremy McWilliams was inducted into the Hall of Fame.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ryan Farquhar with the Joy Dunlop trophy after being named Irish Motorcyclist of the Year
William and Michael Dunlop in action at the North West 200
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charlieuk - Unregistered

January 22, 2013 10:39 AM

Easily the most deserving winner. Won lots of races and helps put something back into Irish Racing. Couple of years and he too should be inducted into the Hall of Fame, like McWilliams.



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