Farquhar wins at Tandragee on Superbike return

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Ryan Farquhar has won his superbike comeback race at this evening’s Tandragee 100. Riding his SGS/ KMR Kawasaki ZX10R, the 39 year old edged out William Dunlop on the Tyco BMW in a breathtaking display of high speed riding that belied the fact the 39 year old hasn’t raced a superbike since 2012.

“I always said I wouldn’t be coming back to waste tyres and fuel.” the Dungannon man smiled after taking the win.

Farquhar had retired from racing after the death of his uncle, Trevor Ferguson, at the Manx Grand Prix in 2012. He returned to racing in the Supertwins and classic classes last season but the man who has won over 200 Irish National road races decided to make a full comeback this year. Having opted to sit out Cookstown last weekend, Tandragee was the Dungannon racer’s first outing on his own ZX10R superbike.

Jamie Hamilton (Burrows Engineering Cookstown Suzuki) led on the opening two circuits of the five lap race of the 5.3 mile Co Armagh circuit before Farquhar and Dunlop broke away. The pair where never more than a few feet apart as they swapped the lead until Farquhar took the chequered flag to win by just by 0.4sec.

“I always believed that I had the speed to win. “ he reflected after the race.

“You know people said that things had moved on and some people said that I hadn’t beaten anybody when I won over 200 National road races but tonight I had to ride as hard as I ever had to win a TT.”

“William rides for one of the best teams in the country and I am over the moon to have won on a bike that I built myself.”

Dunlop, who topped both Superbike and Supersport qualifying sessions during practice for Saturday’s races, was full of praise for his rival.

“I have to say that I expected Ryan to be fast here.” he said.

“He always goes really well around here and he knows the Kawasaki inside out. He is a really crafty racer too, a good thinking rider.”

“It was a great race.” the Tyco BMW rider explained.

“As soon as I got past him half a lap later he was back in front again and we were passing each other twice on each lap. Now I just wish he would retire again!”

Stephen Davison

By Stephen Davison

Biographer of John McGuinness & road racing's foremost writer & photographer