Belfast Telegraph

Monday 14 July 2014

Farquhar just fails with five-timer

Ryan Farquhar

Ryan Farquhar swept aside his closest rivals at this week’s Southern 100 Road Races in the Isle of Man, with four wins from five starts, increasing his prolific win record this season to 37.

The Dungannon rider opened his account on Tuesday in the combined Superbike/Supersport Corlett’s Senior Solo Founders event, renewing his mass start rivalry with Lincolnshire’s Guy Martin on the Hydrex Honda.

Both riders shared the lead around the 4.25-mile circuit, but it was Farquhar on the KMR Racing Kawasaki who led when it mattered – past the chequered flag, winning in a blanket finish with Martin second and McAdoo Kawasaki Racing’s Conor Cummins third.

The race had been shortened to six laps following a sidecar practice incident involving Phil Dongworth and his passenger Stu Castles. Tragically, 43-year-old Dongworth’s injuries proved fatal, casting another dark cloud over the road racing paddock, less than 72 hours after the death of Andrew Neill at Walderstown, Co Westmeath.

Kawasaki-mounted Farquhar, made it two wins from two starts on Wednesday night in the Total Oils Senior race with Guy Martin again his main source of company, with both riders crossing the line virtually side by side. Manxman Cummins was again third, taking a new absolute lap record at the Billown circuit.

Less than an hour later Farquhar made it three from three, holding off fellow Ulsterman Michael Dunlop to win the Radcliff’s 600cc event by half a wheel. Dunlop set a new 600cc lap record on lap five, with Dromore-based Welshman Ian Lougher third.

In yesterday morning’s 600cc ‘A’ event, Farquhar maintained his 100% record , dipping under Michael Dunlop’s middleweight lap record that stood for less than

24 hours, just to rub salt into the Ballymoney man’s wounds. This time it was Cummins second with Dunlop having to settle for third.

Farquhar couldn’t quite make it five from five, getting narrowly beaten by Guy Martin in the Protours Solo Championship race, but was visibly delighted with his week’s work.

“I’ve had a fantastic week with four wins and a second place,” said Farquhar. “It was also good to see two Kawasakis on quite a few podiums this week; thankfully I was always the first one home!

“I did get caught out by back-markers in that last race but I can’t complain too much; I’ve already won more races this season than I ever have before, and I’ve something interesting in the pipeline for next month’s Ulster Grand Prix.”

Meanwhile, Jonathan Rea came out of the official two-day test at Imola as the top World Superbike rider in preparation for the WSBK round at the same venue on September 27.

It was Rea’s first time at the Imola Circuit, edging out local man Michel Fabrizio and Texan Ben Spies. Alstare Suzuki’s Max Neukirchner, returning to action for the first time since his horific crash at Monza in May, highsided at Tamburello, damaging his lower back. The German will now be in plaster cast for a month.

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