Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Farquhar on fire

Ryan Farquhar

Ryan Farquhar is undoubtedly in the form of his life, scoring another four-timer at the Adelaide International Kells Road Races yesterday in County Meath, although the event was overshadowed by the death of yet another road racing competitor, 31-year-old Padraig Campbell, during the warm-up lap for the Junior Support race on Saturday — the third road racing fatality in less than seven days, throwing the sport into the headlines once more, for all the wrong reasons.

Farquhar’s main opposition at Kells came in the form of Keith Amor on Wilson Craig’s Honda machinery in the four-stroke classes, but the KMR Kawasaki pilot had too much in reserve for the Scotsman, taking his win tally to 41 for the season. Amor finished the day with a hat-trick of second placed finishes for his efforts in the Supersport, Open and Grand Final races behind Farquhar.

Hydrex Honda’s Guy Martin nearly didn’t compete at Kells at all, after his helmet was hastily turned down by an official during scrutineering. Martin’s helmet was allegedly turned down for a couple of minor stone chips, but it was the attitude of the official that upset the Lincolnshire rider and not his painstaking inspection.

Martin did take part on Sunday, but with little conviction, eventually finishing the Open and Grand Final races in fifth place. Unfortunately for his large fan base, Martin had no Supersport machine at Kells after blowing it up at the Southern 100 mid week.

William Dunlop, like Farquhar, carried his Isle of Man form through to the County Meath event, with a brace of two-stroke victories in the 125GP and 250GP races.

Michael Dunlop and Sam Dunlop made it a family affair on the 125GP podium alongside William, with Ian Lougher and the returning Darren Burns flanking William on the 250GP podium.

Farquhar’s wins came in the 600cc Irish Championship race that opened the day’s proceedings; the Open Irish Championship race where Gary Johnson slipped onto the final podium spot behind Ryan and Keith Amor; the Super Twins class which has become somewhat of a formality for the Dungannon man this year, with his one hundred percent record still intact, and of course that big money Grand Final victory where he and Amor had a titanic battle. Michael Dunlop took the final podium spot.

Farquhar said: “It really doesn’t come much better than this: four wins and a lap record at the Southern 100 and now four wins at Kells. Someone said that takes me to around 40 wins, but it’s 41 so far and I’m after a few more this season.”

Meanwhile, at Mallory Park, the weather played havoc with round 7 of the British Superbike Championship.

In the opening BSB race, MSS Colchester Kawasaki rider Simon Andrews was on course for his debut BSB win, before Australian Broc Parkes had another rush of blood, taking out the Midlands rider, in an incident that had the top seven riders on their backside at Shaw’s Hairpin, including Toomebridge’s John Laverty.

North West 200 Clerk of Course Mervyn Whyte, who is also the MCRCB Chief Steward, and his judicial panel, concluded that Brookes had been reckless and riding in manner not compatible with general safety, banning the HM Plant Honda rider for two events, with a further one event ban suspended for two events.

The top seven riders, including Brookes, as per the antiquated rulebook, were excluded from the race one results, with James Ellison taking a top stop from eighth place. Leon Camier took second and Graeme Gowland third. Relentless Suzuki’s Ian Lowry was promoted to eighth in the race one melee.

Airwaves Yamaha mounted Leon Camier went on to win race two, that was eventually red flagged after only 15 laps due to standing water deeming the circuit unfit for racing.

James Ellison and Chris Walker made it an all Yamaha affair on the podium, with John Laverty having his best BSB result to date in fourth. Camier now leads the series by 75.5 points from his team-mate Ellison, with Hydrex Honda’s Stuart Easton a further 51 points behind after two DNFs at the Leicestershire venue.

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