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North West 200: Ryan Farquhar baffled by oil spill mystery


Ryan Farquhar

Ryan Farquhar

Ryan Farquhar

Ryan Farquhar remains mystified as to the cause of the oil spill from his bike that led to the abandonment of Saturday’s races.

Farquhar’s Kawasaki engine blew on the delayed second race of the day, the first of two scheduled Superbike contests.

But despite Herculean efforts to cleanse the track and make it safe for racing again, technical director Mervyn Whyte was forced to admit defeat.

That left 35-year-old Dungannon rider Farquhar bitterly disappopinted as he said: “The Superbike race started brilliantly and I knew I had to be in front by the time I got to York Corner to have a chance.”

“Alastair Seeley and Michael Dunlop had got past me but I still felt comfortable in third.”

“However, just after I went under the railway bridge at Dhu Varren, the bike went sideways on me twice and if it hadn’t been for the traction control cutting in, I’d have been off without doubt so I was very lucky.

“I thought I’d hit some standing water or was simply pushing too hard and the bike was still running at full power so there wasn't any reason to think there was anything wrong.

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“Then the bike went into a strange drift at Black Hill which made me think the tyre wasn’t working right but I didn'twant to pull off line immediately as I knew Bruce Anstey and Gary Johnson were right behind me.

“After what happened between Stuart Easton and Gary Mason in practice, I didn’t want Bruce and Gary to run into the back of me

“As soon as I approached Juniper Hill, I put my foot out to warn all the other riders I was pulling in and it was only when I stopped that I discovered the bike was covered in oil.

“I pulled off the circuit as soon as it was safe to do so but there was a lot of oil on the bike and I just don’t know yet what the cause of it was so we’ve sent it away to be checked and repaired.

“I can't remember the last time I had amechanical problem as I put so much time and effort into the preparation of the bikes.”

“What with the security alert and the weather, it was a tough day and a real disappointment for everyone concerned. Nothing seemed to go right.”

Farquhar is now burning the midnight oil in order have his stable of Kawasaki machinery up to scratch before heading to the Isle of Man on Thursday for the TT with the first practice taking place next Monday.

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