Ryan Farquhar took his third TT win on Saturday evening when he took the re-introduced Lightweight TT on the KMR Kawasaki. Farquhar, overcame an early challenge from James Hillier and once the pit stop strategies had balanced themselves out, he was over 20 seconds clear of his fellow Kawasaki rival and eventually took the win by 28.99s. To round out a really good day for Farquhar, Michael Rutter completed the podium on a second KMR Kawasaki.
“I’ve worked so hard for this,” said Farquhar, one of the main driving forces behind the class. “Conditions weren’t too bad and I expected it to be worse than what it was so I took it steady to begin with, sussed out where the damp conditions were and then rode as fast and as steady as I could. The bike never missed a beat and once I could see James in the distance, I knew I was catching him up on time. The strategy went like a dream and the whole race went like clockwork. I’ve tried to push the class as much as I could and whilst everyone said I was the favourite, it’s never as simple as that. There’s always pressure so to be sitting here with a 1-3 for the team is unreal. I did a lot of work on James’ bike so I’ll take some credit for that as well!”
“I’ve been building up year on year so to get a podium is like a dream come true,” said Hillier, who made his TT debut in 2008. “I’ve been getting faster and my results have been improving and this just rounds off a brilliant week for me. I was getting a bit emotional over the last few miles when the reality of getting a podium began to sink in but I kept it going until the end and it was definitely the right call to run the race. It was a bit damp to begin with but not too bad and conditions got better and better throughout the race.”
It was Hillier who led the field away but at Glen Helen it was Farquhar who led the Bournemouth Kawasaki rider by 2 seconds. Rutter was a further second back in third whilst Russ Mountford was putting in a sterling ride in fourth. William Dunlop and Cameron Donald completed the top six.
As the lap progressed, Farquhar was reducing the ten-second starting gap deficit to Hillier and by Ramsey Hairpin, he’d caught him on the road. With an opening lap of 115.088mph, Farquhar led Hillier by 14.1s with Rutter, Mountford, Dunlop and Ian Lougher completing the top six. However, pitstop strategies now came into play and Hillier, Lougher, Mountford and Ivan Lintin all carried on whilst the other leaderboard men refuelled.
Hillier led for the entire lap with Mountford up to second but Farquhar was eating into his advantage all the time and it was clear he’d retake the lead on corrected time when Hillier stopped. The gap at the end of the second lap was just 6.76s and as Hillier had his tank topped up, the Ulsterman sped by.
Farquhar duly completed the lap for his third podium of the week and his first win on the Mountain Course since 2005 and his eventually winning margin over Hillier was 28.99s, the latter taking his debut podium to complete an excellent week of results. Rutter took third and claimed the fastest lap of the race at 115.554mph.
Donald was able to take fourth and get the better of Mountford, the Wigan rider still taking his best ever TT result though. William Dunlop took sixth with Lintin, Lougher, Olie Linsdell and Jamie Hamilton rounding out the top ten.