Mid-Antrim 150: Farquhar up for another high five
Ryan Farquhar hitches up at the Clough Circuit tomorrow aiming to keep up his amazing form in the Mid Antrim 150.
Farquhar has had 22 wins around the venue since 2003, topping the most wins table for the Mid Antrim and as such is clear favourite to add to his tally this weekend.
A year ago Farquhar won an unprecedented five races at Clough and who would bet against a repeat performance in the absence of the Dunlop brothers following their difference of opinion with the organising club last year. Michael Pearson is also keeping his powder dry for the Ulster Grand Prix next week.
Farquhar, also the lap record holder at Clough with a speed of 109.421mph set back in 2007, took a sabbatical from Irish road racing for most of July, re-appearing at Armoy last weekend where he had a double in the Moto450 and Supertwin classes.
He had to play second fiddle to Michael Dunlop in the Supersport and open races but clearly likes the bumps and jumps of Clough and the opposition tomorrow will have to be at their best if they are to challenge the Dungannon man.
“This is one of my favourite national events and my record here speaks for itself. I’m hoping the weather is favourable for the club this weekend as the paddock was a bit of a bog last year,” he said.
“Although we are missing a few of the top riders this weekend, Adrian Archibald is hungry for a win and he pushed me hard last year, while John Burrows and Derek Sheils are going well, so even though the Dunlop’s and Pearson are missing it won’t be easy.
“My bikes were a bit down on speed at Armoy and, after some work done this week, the Mid Antrim is a fast circuit and it is the perfect shake down before the Ulster next week.”
Farquhar will also be running ex-British 600cc Superstock champion Jamie Hamilton in the Supertwin race tomorrow, the Ballyclare rider’s first national road race prior to his debut at the UGP next week.
“It will be good experience and we will play it by ear as to where we go in the next few months with Jamie,” said Farquhar.
In the absence of William Dunlop, the two-stroke races are wide-open and last week’s convincing Armoy 250GP winner Davy Morgan will be a strong favourite although Barry Davidson, the race winner a year ago, may have a strong say in the final outcome as may Seamus Elliott back in action after his major Bush crash in June.
In the 125GP class, another local Jeff Shaw should be amongst the front-runners alongside Sam Dunlop and Paul Robinson, while Nigel Moore will also be in contention.
Practice and qualifying take place this afternoon with roads closing at 4pm. Tomorrow the roads close at 10am.