Forcefield News

Fantastic Farquhar takes Manx Grand Prix hat-trick

06/09/2011 12:10:00

Forcefield Sponsored Ryan Farquhar became only the second man to win three Manx Grand Prix races in a week when he won a thrilling Post Classic Superbike race last Friday. Riding Roger Winfield's XR69 1000cc Suzuki, Ryan fought tooth and nail with similarly-mounted Mark Buckley with the duo never more than a handful of seconds apart but, having regained the lead on the fourth and final lap, Ryan's task was made easier when Buckley retired with half a lap to go. The victory followed up those already taken in the 350cc and 500cc Classic races held on the famous Mountain Course earlier in the week.
Ryan's first race of the week was on Winfield's Drixton Honda in Monday's 4-lap 350cc Classic and with heavy overnight rain leaving a number of damp patches around the 37 and 3/4-mile course, conditions were tricky. Having sat in second early on, an opening lap of 98.954mph saw Ryan take over at the front and his lead over Chris Palmer stood at 15s, a gap that had stretched to 24s at the completion of lap two. However, conditions were worsening considerably with rain hitting the Island and the pace duly slackened, Ryan and Palmer holding station in first and second. This was how it stayed until the end and so Ryan's week opened in perfect style with a 43s winning margin over Palmer.
Onto Wednesday and the 500cc Classic race where Ryan lined up on Winfield's 500cc Paton, the machine upon which he won the corresponding race in 2009. Riding with the number one plate, Ryan seized control to lead comfortably at Glen Helen and with an opening lap of 107.378mph, the fastest of the race, he was already 40 seconds ahead. However, he opted to refuel at the end of the lap and with the machine struggling to fire-up, his advantage disappeared and he dropped back to 4th. That meant there was work to be done but he duly clawed back the deficit to lead again at half race distance and from there on in, Ryan continued to extend his lead and he completed the four laps over 1m50s clear of runner up Palmer.
That just left Friday's Post Classic Superbike race and Ryan's lead at the end of the first lap stood at 6 seconds over Buckley with Michael Dunlop having stopped on the Mountain. However, although he increased his advantage to 8 seconds at Ramsey on the second lap, by the time they'd reached the Grandstand, Buckley had overcome this deficit to hit the front by 1.32s. He pressed on to leave Ryan 8s in arrears at Ballaugh on lap 3 but the Dungannon ace then began to eat into the lead and by the time they swept through Glen Helen on the final lap, he was ahead albeit by just 0.6s. This had increased to 3s at Ballaugh but Buckley then retired at Kerromoar and that allowed Ryan to come home for a comfortable win, following in the footsteps of Dan Kneen who won three races during the 2008 festival.
Speaking later, a delighted Ryan said; "It was a tough week for all of us but to come away with a hat-trick, especially in the Classic races, is brilliant and feels pretty special. When we set off in the Classic 350cc race conditions were pretty good apart from the odd damp patch here and there but on lap 3 it was pouring down and the mist was coming down so I was almost sure the red flag would stop us at the end of the lap. For us to have a 4th lap was a bit crazy to be honest so I backed right off and just brought the bike home. It's the first time I've won the 350cc race so I was very happy although what happened to young Wayne Hamilton later in the day obviously put a real dampener on it."
"The wee bike was going very well but we had a few problems with the others, having a misfire all week on the Paton and lots of issues with the valves on the big Suzuki. The 500cc race started well and conditions were pretty good but I lost a bit of time at the pit stop and then the misfire returned between 7000 and 9000 rpm. At one stage, I thought I was going to have to pull in but I was able to nurse the bike home for another win. In the Post Classic race, I settled into the race early on and it was nip and tuck betwen Michael and myself early on although he went out on the first lap. Then on the 2nd lap, the bike appeared to be running out of fuel and went off on one cylinder and that allowed Mark to overtake me. He'd also caught me up on the road and it's always hard to pull away once that's happened but I dug deep and managed to get back into the lead and his retirement obviously gave me a bit of breathing space."
"It's always tough competing on the Mountain Course but, overall, it's been an enjoyable fortnight once more although the serious accidents have overshadowed things and I'd like to pass on my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of those riders we've lost this last couple of weeks."
Ryan now returns to domestic action and the Killalane road races being held this weekend.
Pictures by Stephen Davison - Pacemaker Press International

Ryan Farquhar Manx GP

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