Manx Grand Prix: Farquhar now just two wins away from record
Ryan Farquhar completed a superb treble at the Manx Grand Prix by winning yesterday's Classic Superbike race and now has nine Manx victories in total — just two behind the record of Bob Heath.
However it wasn’t all plain sailing yesterday for Farquhar — who had earlier won the Junior and Senior Classic races — as he led in the opening stages of the four-lap race only to see Michael Dunlop edge ahead by Ramsey on lap one.
But at the Verandah Dunlop’s race was run, forced to retire and take the tram back to Laxey.
On lap two Farquhar experienced problems, handing the lead to Mark Buckley, but on the last lap the Dungannon man got the hammer down and took the lead at Glen Helen, cruising to victory over four and a half minutes ahead of John Barton after Buckley retired on the final lap.
Farquhar, only the second rider to achieve three Manx victories in a week, said: “That was hard work. Going up the Mountain on the second lap the bike went off a cylinder, maybe running low on fuel, and it didn’t chime back in until after the Bungalow.
“Then I took extra time at the pit stop to make sure I had enough fuel in to finish the race.
“These bikes are not like modern bikes and it was wandering all over the road. I dug deep and overhauled Mark.
“It’s a pity he retired because he actually lent me the rear tyre I raced on, which shows the sportsmanship among the riders.
“This treble certainly makes up for the disappointment at the TT and the other international road races this year.
“We’ll just have to get organised and come back stronger than ever next year.”
On what was another brilliant day for Northern Ireland riders, Andrew Brady (pictured) won the Senior Manx Grand Prix to make it a Junior and Senior double having won the Junior race on Monday.
Prior to the start race riders were unhappy with the conditions, which were unpredictable with damp roads, but this didn’t deter the 33-year old from Roslea leading at Glen Helen on lap one by a second from Banbridge rider Shaun Anderson with Grant Wagstaff in third.
These three dominated the four-lap race and on the third lap Wagstaff, now second, whittled Brady’s 10 second lead down by half and on the last lap he reduced it to two and a half seconds at Glen Helen, extended by Brady to five at Ballaugh, reduced to three at the Bungalow, Brady finally holding off the determined Wagstaff to win the race by 3.6 seconds.
He is the first rider to complete the Junior/Senior Manx double since 2006. The unlucky Anderson was forced to retire on the last lap, handing the final podium position to Dan Sayle.
Brady said: “Halfway through the third lap the race was getting away from me and I didn’t think I could do it.
“It was a tough race and I had to work really hard to keep at the front. This is the first Senior Manx I’ve started and I’ve won it. That’s it — I’ve done the double and it feels great. I never expected it.”
The Belfast and District Club host the penultimate round of the Irish Clubman Championships at Kirkistown today (1pm).