Farquhar is thrilled to be on board for Superbike mission
Dungannon’s Ryan Farquhar is a late, high-profile entry for the Superbike classes at next week’s Vauxhall International North West 200, where he will join Ian Hutchinson in the factory-supported Tyco BMW team.
The 40-year-old has five wins at the Triangle event, and will be a big favourite once again for Supertwin honours. But to finally secure a deal to ride one of BMW Motorrad’s 220hp factory Superbikes will give him a boost prior to next month’s main goal — the Isle of Man TT.
Smiling broadly during a test session yesterday at Kirkistown, where he got his first full run on the Tyco BMW with support from the TAS Racing technicians, Farquhar explained: “It is more powerful than my own BMW Superstock bike, which is what you would expect; the brakes are so much sharper and we were dialing the suspension in to suit me.
“But it really is some piece of kit. You can train all you want but nothing beats riding these powerful Superbikes.”
The initial deal for Farquhar was only to ride the Isle of Man TT on the Tyco BMW, but protracted discussions between team manager Philip Neill and NW200 Event Director Mervyn Whyte finally came to a head, which Farquhar is delighted about.
“I didn’t get too involved because I was happy with the deal we had in place, but secretly I did want to ride the North West, if only for more track time,” he said. “Coming to Kirkistown is helpful information and saves me wasting two practice sessions at the North West. It will be different on the north coast, but I’ll be having a go and trying to qualify as well as I can before race day.
“If I can get a good start and I’m comfortable on the bike, I can be competitive. There are a lot of fast lads who are riding Superbikes week-in, week-out, so that needs to be taken into consideration.
“But if it’s wet, that’s a different story, not least because I don’t have to clean this bike afterwards,” joked the KMR Racing team owner.
Ten years on from wearing the famous blue and white of TAS Racing, Farquhar laughed when asked if he ever thought he would be back riding for Hector and Philip Neill.
“Not in a million years, but it’s nice to be acknowledged for such a ride as I’m an old man now,” he joked.
“I just want to try and do as good a job as possible for Hector and Philip and BMW Motorrad and all their sponsors. I’m excited about it.”
In other news, a special fundraising event featuring country star Lisa McHugh will be held this August in aid of David Wood Ulster Grand Prix House.
The ‘Party in the Paddock’, which has been organised by the Team Wood Foundation, will take place on Saturday, August 6 in the marquee, kicking off the 2016 Ulster Grand Prix Bike Week festival.
The event, which begins at 8pm, will feature a performance from the award-winning “Hillbilly Girl” singer who was born and raised in Glasgow by Irish parents and who now lives in Northern Ireland.
Tickets for the event are priced at just £12.50 and are available now from