Dungannon lad Ryan Farquhar is never one to shirk and challenge and having set up his own team for 2009, the three-time winner at the International North West 200 will be looking for more success this time around on his trusty Kawasakis.
Farquhar has been racing at the North West 200 since 1996 when he made his debut riding in the 250cc class as an enthusiastic 20-year-old; since then he has become one of Ireland’s most consistent performers and his racing peers always know they’re in for a tough time when the father of two takes to the track.
“Racing at the North West 200 was always high on my agenda but things have changed since I made my debut 13 years ago,” said the 33-year old.
“I got my first podium in 1998 in the 250cc class behind Woolsey Coulter and Ian Lougher and I was totally over the moon.
“Then getting three wins here in the Supersport class was absolutely brilliant but the first one, I think, will always be the special one, event though none of them came easy.”
Riding under the KMR Kawasaki banner, the often outspoken Farquhar has never struggled to find local support or sponsorship and remains one of Northern Ireland’s best hopes of success at the May 16 event alongside the man currently in form, Alastair Seeley from Carrickfergus.
Farquhar has had international wins in the Supersport and Superstock classes but that ‘big bike’ victory still eludes him, although it still remains a burning desire for the ultra focussed rider, and is something he’d dearly love to achieve before hanging up his leathers.
“I’ve always said I’d love to win an international Superbike race but it’s getting harder will all the factory teams involved,” he stated.
“But I’ll keep trying and of it comes it comes.”
Bob Mullan Motors, Ballykelly, have been long time supporters of the North West 200 and also personal friends of Clerk of Course Mervyn Whyte MBE.
This year the north-west car dealership will provide funding for the start lights and clocks on the grid and the contemporary plasma screens in the Media Centre.
The penultimate Kennedy International North West 200 Press conference in association with Coca-Cola Zero takes place this Thursday night at the Ramada Hotel in Portrush.
Meanwhile, Dundrod based Englishman Tim Reeves and his partner Patrick Farrance chalked up their second Formula 2 British Sidecar Championship win of 2009 over the Easter period at Brands Hatch.
Thirty-seven year-old Reeves, a three time World champion, shadowed TT superstars Nick Crowe and Mark Cox in their HM Plant Honda powered machine until half distance, before sweeping through the take the win by almost three seconds.
Sadly for Reeves and Farrance, they were forced to retire with a mechanical problem in race two but still maintain third place in the series. Tim will now switch to his Formula 1 machine for the opening round of the World Championship on April 26.