Ryan Farquhar is relishing an all new challenge at Isle of Man TT
Ryan Farquhar, the most successful Irish road racer of all time, has secured a dream deal to ride a factory Tyco BMW Superbike at this year's Isle of Man TT.
The veteran will race alongside 11-time TT winner Ian Hutchinson and - at 40 years of age - the Dungannon ace can't quite believe his luck.
"I'm a great believer in what's meant to be is meant to be and I can't wait to ride the Tyco BMW Superbike now at this year's TT," said Farquhar, who last rode for Hector and Philip Neill at TAS Racing back in 2006.
Farquhar is renowned for his record-breaking career between the hedges with over 200 road-racing victories, which for the most part have been recorded on Kawasaki machinery.
But having been overlooked at Kawasaki in favour of new blood for 2016, the three-time Isle of Man TT winner has decided to wipe the slate clean and take on a new challenge this season.
"Kawasaki have been making a big push for this new 'Team Green' objective for 2016. I wasn't asked to be a part of that, which made me feel disappointed after all the race wins I've had for them over the years," he admitted.
"So, having spoken to a new personal sponsor in IEG (International Energy Group) for this season and also having taken on some invaluable advice, I decided to talk to Philip Neill at TAS Racing.
"As it turns out, he agreed to support me in a deal to purchase a Superstock bike from BMW for this season," added Farquhar, who at that point had no idea that it would lead to a factory BMW Superbike ride at the TT in May and June.
With the immensely popular Guy Martin openly stating that he would be sitting out at least the opening half of the road-racing season - to concentrate on his television filming commitments and the gruelling 2,745-mile Tour Divide Mountain Bike Race in the Canadian Rockies - there was always a possibility that Tyco BMW team manager Philip Neill would bring another rider into his set-up.
Neill said: "Barring one or two years in the past 15 campaigns, we've always represented a manufacturer in an official capacity at the TT with a team of two riders.
"This year we were tempted to run with just Ian Hutchinson. However, we always said that we had a desire - if a suitable rider came along - to have two riders on Tyco BMWs and that's where Ryan comes into things."
At this point in time, Farquhar will only ride Tyco BMW Superbike machinery at the Isle of Man TT and will continue to run his KMR Kawasaki Supertwins alongside his privateer IEG SGS International BMW at selected national events, including the International North West 200 in May, the Isle of Man TT and the Ulster Grand Prix.