Forcefield Sponsored Ryan Farquhar and his young team-mate Jamie Hamilton enjoyed some excellent results at this week's Southern 100 road races on the Isle of Man with Hamilton claiming his first ever road race victory. Team leader Farquhar took the opening Supertwins race by just 0.197s from Hamilton but the latter turned the tables in the second encounter, also claiming a new lap record.
The racing got underway on Tuesday evening with the Corlett's Trophies 1000cc race but problems with his Superbike meant Ryan had to use his trusty Superstock machine and although he started well, a tough move by Guy Martin at Stadium Corner pushed Ryan wide and down to third as he fought to keep the bike upright. He regrouped but Conor Cummins relegated him to fourth at the final corner on the last lap whilst Hamilton, making his debut around the 4.25-mile road course, finished in a superb 6th.
With good weather continuing on the Island, Wednesday's racing commenced with the Senior race but Ryan was an early retirement on his Superbike, which was still causing problems, whilst Jamie again took sixth. The Supertwins race saw the duo go head to head on their ER6 Kawasaki's, the pair continually breaking the lap record as they pushed it over the 100mph mark for the first time. Ryan eventually held on by 0.197s although Jamie set the fastest lap and won the Walter Wain Cup in the process, the trophy awarded in memory of the life long enthusiast who passed away in 2006.
That just left Thursday's main race day and it saw Hamilton take his first ever road race victory as he dominated the second Supertwins race, pushing the lap record higher still to 102.527mph. Ryan had no answer to his protege but still took a good second, just over 5 seconds adrift. The final race of the week for the pair was the Southern 100 Championship and a strong ride by Ryan saw him lap at close to 112mph on his way to fourth place whilst Jamie finished in a fine 7th and became one of only two newcomers ever to break the 110mph barrier around the course, his best lap being 110.475mph.
Speaking on his return home, Ryan commented; "For me personally, it's been an up and down week as I've had a few problems with the bikes and am absolutely shattered after a really hectic few weeks but, on the plus side, Jamie's had a superb few days and it was great to see him get his first ever road race win. He rode excellently throughout the event, very smooth and there's no doubt he's got a big future in the sport."
"When I arrived on the Island, I found a problem with the valves on the Superbike so didn't get to go out on that until Wednesday's race and in Tuesday's Superbike race I was having a good run on the Superstock bike until Guy put a hard move onto me into Stadium. It ran me right out to the kerb and I was lucky not to be in the wall so, after that, I ended up just riding round almost and that, along with a bit of brake fade, allowed Conor to pip me on the run into the line. I went into Wednesday's race without any practice on the Superbike and the suspension wasn't right but the Supertwins was a great race. There was nothing between Jamie and myself and I just managed to get the better of him - but it was very close and I think he could have passed me if he'd have wanted to!"
"On Thursday, the bike wasn't working that well, I think there may be an electrical problem somewhere, but Jamie was absolutely flying and he beat us fair and square, he throughly deserved his win. I was back on the Superstock bike for the Championship race and although I had no problems and felt that I was riding well, I think the bike's a bit long in the tooth now and I just can't run with the Superbikes. It's ok around the likes of Bush and Skerries where top speed isn't crucial but here it's just not possible. Since the TT, I've been flat out and haven't had a day off so now I think it's time to have a week off and have a good look at all the bikes. They're not quite working right so I need to get them all stripped and working properly so that everything's 100% for the next meeting. Like I say, I'm shattered and need a bit of time out to get myself mentally and physically prepared for the next meeting."
Ryan has opted out of contesting this weekend's Walderstown road races and will instead turn his attentions to the Cock o' the North road races at Oliver's Mount, Scarborough on July 21-22.