Fresh from his double race victory at the Bush road races last week, Ryan Farquhar added another brace of wins to his impressive 2008 season at the weekend. Riding the Harker Racing ZX10 Kawasaki at the Athea meeting, the Dungannon rider took both the Open and Grand Final races in convincing style, also setting new lap and race records.
With no 250cc or 600cc machines for the weekend, Ryan had just his Superstock Kawasaki machine at his disposal but he made sure one bike would count and after a steady start in the 8-lap Open race, he made his way into the lead. Ryan was embroiled in a battle with Keith Amor in the early stages but, when they caught the first of the backmarkers, he was able to make the break and eventually ran out a comfortable winner by 14.3seconds.
In the feature Grand Final race, again held over 8 laps of the 3.3-mile public road course, Ryan slotted into third place as the riders left the line but by the completion of the first lap he had hit the front and he was never headed. With a succession of fast laps, including a new outright lap record of 113.606mph, he took his second win of the day. To complete his successful day, he also set a new race record for the course.
There was drama at the prize presentation though when an impatient race fan tried to drive through the 200-strong crowd that had gathered to see the presentations. He promptly ran over Ryan’s leg, much to his obvious annoyance and discomfort but, fortunately, nothing was broken and he will be fully fit in time for the Skerries races.
Speaking about his day’s work at Athea, a delighted Ryan said:
‘It’s been a really enjoyable day’s racing and with two wins from two starts, as well as the lap and race records, I can’t complain. With no 600cc machine, the other riders had a bit of an advantage over me in the first race as they were up to speed and had had more time on the circuit so it took me a little while to get going. I managed to get by Keith to take the lead and when we caught the backmarkers, I was able to slip by and pull away.’
‘It’s so narrow here that it’s difficult to pass so I made sure I got the lead in the Grand Final nice and early and I was able to steadily pull away. We’ve got the Superstock bike set up really well and wI’m so impressed with the Dunlop tyres that we’re able to set some excellent lap times on the bike and be totally competitive wherever we go. The whole package is working really well and we’ll have a new 600cc engine in time for Skerries so I’m really looking forward to that. I could have done without being run over by a car but although the ankle’s a bit sore at the moment, it will be spot-on for the weekend.’
The Skerries 100 road races take place on the outskirts of Dublin, this coming Saturday, July 5th