Farquhar racks up 100th Irish road race victory

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Ryan Farquhar became only the second rider to record 100 Irish road race wins on Sunday when he took a hat-trick of victories at the Athea road races.

Held on the 3.3-mile circuit in County Limerick, the KMR Kawasaki rider was again in imperious form as he swept to victory in the Grand Final, Supersport 600cc and Supertwins races making it three wins on three different machines.

Second now only to Joey Dunlop in the number of Irish road race wins, Farquhar also overhauled Robert Dunlop’s total number of wins in Southern Ireland.

With mixed weather conditions once more affecting the day, tyre choice would again be crucial but he had no issues in his first race of the day, the Supertwins, which he won comfortably on his ER6 Kawasaki.

With rain continuing to fall for the Supersport 600cc race, he opted for intermediate tyres, whereas most of the other leading competitors chose full wets, and he made a great start as he led by almost four seconds at the completion of the first lap.

As the rain stopped, the track began to dry and this played into Farquhar’s hands even further and he eventually took the chequered flag by over 16 seconds for his second win of the day.

With intermittent rain affecting the day’s schedule, the organisers decided to move the Grand Final forward whilst it was also cut to six laps.

It was then delayed further as the rain came down again and with most riders on slicks, the start was put back by 15 minutes.

When it did get underway, Farquhar again grabbed the early initiative and had regular rival Keith Amor on his back wheel when the red flag came out due to a spill involving Damien Mulleady.

With fuel and debris on the track, the race was declared a result at three laps and Ryan gratefully took his third win of the day.

That just left the Open race and Farquhar and Amor again battled it out, this time for the entire six laps, although on this occasion it was Amor who got the verdict by just 0.180seconds.

Farquhar did have the consolation of setting a new outright lap record at 114.291mph.

He said: "It's been another good day and with three wins, a second and the outright lap record I'm well pleased with how it's all gone.

"The weather made it a bit of a difficult day as tyre choice was tricky, to say the least, but the Dunlops were again faultless whilst it was great to take three wins on three different types of machine.

“All of the Kawasakis are working really well at the moment and a few changes to the engine mapping on the 600cc ZX-6R has given me that little bit extra in the Supersport class.

"In the Open race, I had Keith lined up at a couple of places on the final lap but on each occasion a backmarker was in the way and I couldn't make a pass so I had to settle for second - it was another close race though and an enjoyable battle with Keith once more.

"To reach 101 wins, and also break the Southern Ireland total of Robert Dunlop, is a great feeling and a big thank you to all my sponsors and everyone involved with the team for all their hard work and commitment."

Farquhar and the rest of the top road racers now head to the Skerries 100 this Saturday, July 4.

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Phil Wain

By Phil Wain