FARQUHAR RETAINS COCK O’ THE NORTH TITLE THEN SUCCEEDS AT ARMOY

RYAN LEADS JAMIE AT ARMOY

RYAN LEADS JAMIE AT ARMOY

Ryan Farquhar’s race-winning spree continued with the KMR Kawasaki rider retaining his Cock o’ the North title at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough followed by two wins at the subsequent Armoy road race event.

Racing at the Cock o’ the North event held at Scarborough started with a 600cc heat, which Ryan won by almost ten seconds from Ivan Lintin and that was followed by the opening leg of the Superbikes. It was fellow Northern Irishman Michael Pearson who grabbed the holeshot and although his lead was never more than a second, Ryan simply couldn’t find a way through.

The gap was constantly coming down but it ended in a rare defeat around the woodland venue for Ryan as he crossed the line 0.256s behind Pearson, the fastest lap of the race his only consolation. Team mate, Jamie Hamilton took a good fourth and the duo then took another 1-2 for the team in the Supertwins, Ryan coming out on top on this occasion by a comfortable 6.5s, also claiming a new lap record at 78.262mph on his ER-6f based machine.

With glorious conditions again greeting the riders on the Sunday, Ryan opened his account for the day with a good victory in the second leg of the Superbikes, his winning margin over Dean Harrison 5.8s. Ryan then completed his hat-trick with a 3 second victory over Pearson in the first Supersport 600cc race although, after a number of delays to the race schedule, he opted out of the second leg held later in the afternoon.

His next outing was the second leg of the Supertwins which he won from Daniel Frear. Ryan’s weekend ended on the best possible note though when he overhauled Pearson and Harrison to take the 10-lap feature Cock o’ the North race, to add his name to the Trophy for the third successive year.

Speaking later, a delighted Ryan said; “All in all, it’s been a good weekend and it was a good opportunity for me to get some work in on the Superbike and try to get it dialled in a bit more. It’s such a sensitive bike that a small change can make a huge difference so I spent most of Saturday making constant changes and I’ve got a bike that now feels like my bike.”

At the very next Irish road race meeting held at Armoy, Farquhar battled his way through the difficult weather conditions at the ‘Race of Legends’ Road Races to add two more wins to his haul for the season. The KMR Kawasaki rider took victory in the Supertwins and 450cc races whilst also claiming three more podiums thus ensuring another successful day’s racing.

Conditions changed throughout race day as the rain came and went but Ryan opened his account with a comfortable victory on his KX450F based machine in the Moto 450cc race, which was held in wet weather. The rain worsened for the Supersport 600cc race and after two warm up laps, the riders spoke to the officials and, with lots of standing water, the race was delayed.

When it resumed, Ryan grabbed the holeshot on his Ninja ZX-6R and led for the opening three laps before the rain returned and so signalled to the officials, who had agreed to stop the race if conditions became unrideable. Michael Dunlop passed Ryan just before the line and, with another lap being completed, it was he was awarded the victory when the race was eventually stopped.

Next up for Ryan was the first Superbike race and, with conditions still wet, he opted to take out his 600cc machine once more. Despite being at a major disadvantage against the 1000cc machines, he led for the first two laps before being overhauled by Dunlop and Guy Martin but third was an excellent result given the horsepower deficit. Meanwhile, team-mate Jamie Hamilton took a solid eighth and the duo then went head to head in the Supertwins race. There was little between the two but it all went wrong when Hamilton tried to out-brake his team leader and he crashed out. That enabled Ryan to take the win from Adrian Archibald and Michael Sweeney.

The Grand Final was Ryan’s last race of the day and he again went head to head with Dunlop, leading in the early stages before his younger rival found a way through. There was nothing separating the two until the closing few laps when backmarkers came into play and it was enough to allow Michael to edge out a gap and so Ryan had to settle for second at the chequered flag.

Speaking later, a pleased Ryan said; “It’s been a challenging day with the ever-changing weather conditions but they improved as the day wore on and we all got some good races in. It was really wet at the beginning of the day, especially in the 600cc race where there was that much surface water, it simply wasn’t safe to continue. With conditions still being far from ideal, I decided to take the 600 out for the Superbike race and I was pleased with third given the fact I was up against 1000cc bikes.”

“The Supertwins race was going well for the team until Jamie crashed and I was lucky not to get caught up with him. I managed to hold on to the win and that just left the Grand Final where I had a great battle with Michael. It was a just a pity backmarkers came into play at the end as it would have been nice to have gone into the final lap with it all still to play for but I’m happy enough. I’m happy with the bike and I’m definitely going in the right direction so, overall, it’s been a solid day.”

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