Ryan Farquhar: This year was my most enjoyable
Dungannon's Ryan Farquhar is a late and welcome addition to this weekend’s Scarborough Senior Gold Cup race, but the prolific road race winner will have to rely on his KMR/SGS International ER6 Supertwin – if he’s to add to his three figure tally at the famous Oliver’s Mount woodland circuit.
Farquhar had hoped to ride one of his own Kawasaki ZX-10R machines in the Senior Gold Cup, but he said: “I’ll just be out to make the numbers up as I’ve decided to ride a classic Suzuki and have a bit of fun, as I’ve run out of time.”
Explaining his decision he added: “I had planned to ride the ZX10 Superbike that Jamie [Hamilton] rode for me last season, but it’s lying untouched the way it came back from Killalane after his crash a year ago and Danny Webb’s bike is still sitting with the flies on it from this year’s TT.”
While some young racers have long legged birds on their mind, the only ‘birds’ the 38-year-old father of two is interested in these days, are the clay variety, having become hooked on clay pigeon shooting since his semi-retirement from the sport of road racing.
“I’ve been trying to cut the work down to try and make it more like a nine-to-five job, so I can do more things away from racing, like spending time with the family and I’m doing a bit of shooting, but I have prepared a new engine for my ‘650’ for Scarborough,” he said, intimating that making up the numbers, was not his goal in the class he pioneered onto the road racing scene.
“I’ve been trying to develop a new ER6 engine, so we’ll see how that goes and we should be competitive. But the club has been good to me over the years at Scarborough, so I’ll probably just ride the classic Suzuki in the Gold Cup race for a bit of craic and support them as best I can,” he said.
With this weekend about to close out 2014 for Irish National Road Racing’s most successful ever performer, I asked him had he started outlining plans for 2015 and did it involve a ‘young man’ from Dungannon who will turn 39 in February?
Reflecting on 2014, and his return to competitive action, Ryan said: “I have to say this year was the most enjoyable year I’ve had racing in a long time.
“It’s very hard to get a balance when you are racing full time. I was working at it 24-7, and finishing second and third in five races over a weekend was no good. I needed to win to get a wage and pay the bills and with that adds pressure,” he explained.
“Then when I did retire, running a team with a big sponsor and lads crashing bikes and the big workload, was just too much for a one man band. So scaling back and riding the odd time myself has been the way to go.”
Twenty-one-year-old Conor Behan won this year’s Irish Supertwin Championship for Ryan and his KMR team, but his hands-on involvement allowed Ryan time away from the workshop, and 2015 is looking to run along the same lines. Well almost.
“I will need a second bike for myself if I’m to be competitive next year. Other riders are jumping on Supertwins at the North West and riding them like they are toys. So at the North West and TT, I’ll maybe roll out my ZX10 that is currently sitting in the trophy room for more track time.”
Ryan also plans to run 50-year-old former GP and NW200 winner Jeremy McWilliams at next year’s May showpiece on the north coast. A deal they will no doubt discuss over a schooner or two at the Island Classic in Melbourne in January.