Ryan Farquhar became the most successful rider in the history of the Tandragee 100 road races at the weekend when his hat-trick of wins moved him onto a career total of 20, overhauling Joey Dunlop’s long standing total of 18.
Riding the IEG BMW, Ryan’s first win came in the Open race although it wasn’t without controversy. The first attempt at running the race was ended early as a number of jump starts took place and when it was restarted, Dan Kneen and Derek Sheils, were adjudged to have done the same again. It wasn’t until after the race that a protest was made and although Ryan crossed the line in third place behind the aforementioned riders, they were later docked a minute in time relegating them to tenth and 11th respectively. That all meant the officials awarded Ryan the win.
There were no such problems in Ryan’s next race, the Supertwin race, but this time he was locked in battle once more with Malachi Mitchell-Thomas. Riding the SGS International/KMR Kawasaki, Ryan sat behind his younger rival until he made a mistake and so took over at the head of the field earlier than he had planned. Mitchell-Thomas attempted a final lap manoeuvre but Ryan had it covered and got the verdict over the line by exactly a second setting a new lap record on the final lap at 103.694mph.
Photo by Tremaine Gregg/Pacemaker Press
Next up was the the Lightweight race, and he enjoyed a terrific race long battle with Czech rider Michal Dokoupil. The duo were never more than a few tenths apart and whilst Dokoupil took the win in the 400cc class, Ryan did likewise in the Moto 450 category, also setting a new lap record of 96.857mph.
That just left the Grand Final but with a new set of leathers for the meeting, Ryan had been experiencing arm pump throughout the day and had to ease his pace slightly. He used the race as more practice on the Superstock-spec BMW and brought the bike home for a solid sixth place.
Ryan Farquhar: “It’s been a very good weekend for me and although there was a bit of controversy over the first big bike race, it was one of those where I didn’t feel it was fair for anyone that an advantage had been gained. A protest was made and whilst I didn’t win the race, having crossed the line in third, I was awarded the victory – not necessarily the way you want to get a win but rules are rules. It’s unfortunate but these things happen occasionally.”
“I had a good battle with Malachi in the Supertwin race and when he was in the lead, I decided to sit behind him and make my move on the last lap. His mistake changed that and he tried to do to me what I was planning to do to him but couldn’t get the bike stopped. I’d been experiencing arm pump during the day though due to the new leathers, something I haven’t experienced before, so I just concentrated on getting a finish in the Grand Final. I was really pleased with my lap times and although we’re still fine tuning the BMW, it’s beginning to feel like my bike now. I’m still getting used to the Metzeler tyres so we’re continually making little tweaks here and there and I’m really impressed with the whole package.”
Ryan’s next meeting is the International North West 200 road races on May 10-14 and with a test planned in the next week on the Tyco BMW Superbike, he’s hopeful of securing a deal to campaign the bike at the Causeway Coast meeting.
Pictures by Stephen Davison – Pacemaker Press International