Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Ryan Farquhar signs off with tribute

Ryan Farquhar bowed out of road racing with a tribute lap in memory of the late Trevor Ferguson at Killalane

Ryan Farquhar and John Burrows hailed the memory of the late Trevor Ferguson at an emotional final road race of the 2012 Irish season at Killalane.

In a touching tribute to the man who lost his life during the Supertwin race at the Manx Grand Prix, his nephew Farquhar and good friend Burrows rode his machines on a lap of the circuit and, though Ryan had already announced his retirement shortly after the accident, Burrows used the occasion to reveal: “This lap is the last time I will sit on the grid at a race.

“Road racing has been good to me, but I have lost a lot of good friends. Trevor was a special friend. I have a young child and, with another on the way, I feel this is the time to stop racing.”

Elsewhere, there was treble success for William Dunlop in the 125GP, 250GP and Supersport races, while brother Michael picked up a big bike double by winning the Open Championship race and Grand Final.

After cruising to a four second win over Derek Sheils and Brian McCormack in the Open race, Michael found himself behind the same duo in the opening laps of the Grand Final before stamping his authority on the race to win easily from Michael Pearson and Jamie Hamilton.

William, meanwhile, won the Supersport race from his sibling and Pearson before coming from the back row of the grid to beat Ed Manley and Davy Morgan in the 250GP race.

He completed his treble in a comfortable 125GP victory in which young Ballyclare rider Hamilton — who went on to win the Supertwin race — finished second.

There was also podium delight for the Laverty brothers with Eugene (pictured) picking up a brace of second place finishes at the World Superbike round in Germany, while Michael came second and third in the two British Superbike races at Donington Park.

At Nurburgring, Eugene engaged in a tight battle with Chas Davies behind Max Biaggi; Laverty holding off his rival by a tenth of a second at the chequered flag to give Aprilia their first ever 1-2-3 in a WSB race.

At half distance in the 20-lap second race, Davies took control and raced to his first ever World Superbike race victory three seconds ahead of Laverty and third-placed Leon Camier.

“It was a great meeting for Aprilia,” said Laverty.

“In the early laps of the races, the rear tyre wasn’t heating up as it should and I could not run the leaders pace. After about five laps it came on strong, so I’m happy with two seconds after two fierce battles with Chas and Leon.”

At Donington, Josh Brookes was in unstoppable form to win race one by 1.1secs from Tommy Hill with Michael Laverty just a third of a second behind.

Race two was a much tighter affair with Laverty wresting the lead from Brookes before the Australian hit back to claim an eventual half-second victory.

“It was pretty special to come such a long way and do the Superbike double,” said Brookes.

“It is a great boost to confidence going into the Title Showdown races starting at Assen in a fortnight.”

Laverty commented: “Overall I’m quite content with today and two more podium credits going into the Showdown.”

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