Road Racing: Double joy for Ulster’s big two
Dungannon’s Ryan Farquhar, the most successful national road racer of all time, will commence his 18th season of racing at Scarborough’s Spring Cup on April 17 with a high profile new team-mate by his side — three time TT winner and fellow Ulsterman Adrian Archibald.
Farquhar, the KMR Kawasaki Racing team owner, has been the pioneer of the all-new Supertwins class on the pure road racing scene for the past few seasons and with the support of Mike Johnstone, Kawasaki Motors UK, he has been able to offer Archibald a Supertwin ‘turn up and ride’ deal for 2011.
The team was launched at KMR Racing’s new purpose-built workshop adjacent to Farquhar’s family home, and the immediate feel-good factor was evident.
“I was speaking to Adrian’s sponsor Nigel Henry from FB McKee and told him I’d a spare ER6 Supertwin in the workshop,” explained the Dungannon man.
“It was that easy a deal to sort. It will be good craic working with Adrian as we get on really well. It’s good for the class to have another high profile rider in it and although I’ll be racing to win, you have to enjoy your racing and this should be good for everyone.”
Between them they have 36 seasons of pure road racing experience under their belts, and although Archibald was forced to blow out 41 candles on his last birthday cake, he’s still a force to be reckoned with.
“This will get me a few extra runs out,” explained Archibald in his usual laid-back style. “I’ll also be racing a ZX-10 Kawasaki Superbike at the NW200, TT and Ulster Grand Prix.”
The distinctive fluorescent orange and black livery with two of Northern Ireland’s greatest exponents in the saddle is a shrewd marketing ploy by Farquhar and should swell the crowds at the forthcoming Cookstown and Tandragee events, in late April and early May.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Rea hopes to steer clear of trouble in the second round of the World Superbike Championship at Donington Park this weekend.
The Ulsterman had a crash-affected opening round at Phillip Island in Australia but despite several falls over the weekend still managed to finish fourth in the second race.
The championship returns to the Leicestershire circuit for the first time in two years and riders will have to deal with a resurfaced race track among improvements which have also seen the Foggy Esses widened.
Fourth in race two in Australia helped Rea to climb to sixth in the points standings and he will look to close on the leaders in Sunday's two races after being given the all-clear to compete at Donington following medical checks.
Rea said: “I am fine now, just the odd pain in my wrist. I'm feeling good.”
Rea will have championship leader Carlos Checa in his sights after the Spaniard dominated at Phillip Island, taking two race wins on his Althea Ducati.