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.