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Manx GP: Farquhar makes it three with Classic Superbike win

Northern Ireland’s Ryan Farquhar took his third victory of the week, and ninth Manx Grand Prix title, with a thrilling win over Mark Buckley, adding The Classic Racer Classic Superbike race to the Okells Brewery 500cc Senior Classic and the Motorsport Merchandise 350cc Junior Classic titles he won earlier in the week.

Conditions all round the course were described as improving and the sun was out for the second race of the day, the combined Classic Racer Classic Superbike and Junior Post Classic Races.

New Zealand’s Graeme Crosby, Senior TT winner in 1980 and F1 and Classic TT’ winner in 81 flagged the riders away at 13.45pm. Ryan Farquhar on the ’83 Suzuki F1, already with two wins under his belt earlier in the week, was the first rider on the course, followed by Mark Buckley and Michael Dunlop, both riding John Sims’ XR69’s, followed by rider liaison officer John Barton, riding his Suzuki GSXR, bought on eBay earlier in the year for £700.


Farquhar was the first rider to Glen Helen and lead by just over a second from Buckley with Dunlop almost four seconds behind Farquhar in third and Maria Costello MBE running fourth from start position of 18th.

Michael Dunlop began to eat into Farquhar’s lead and from less than a second down at Ballaugh he moved through to lead by 0.67 seconds by Ramsey with Buckley five seconds back in third. However, with Dunlop reported as stopping at the Verandah and making adjustments, Farquhar moved into the lead again at the Bungalow by six seconds from Buckley with Barton a clear third with Maria Costello retiring at the Mountain Box.

Farquhar increased his lead to seven seconds after an opening lap 19:48.80 (114.256mph) from Buckley 113.658mph with Barton 20:47.54 (108.877mph) in the final podium position. However, with Farquhar losing time over the mountain on the second lap, Mark Buckley moved into the lead as the riders came into the pits at the end of the second lap with Buckley posting 19:52.19 to Farquhar’s 19:59.77, giving Buckley a lead of just over a second on lap three.

Buckley had increased his lead to almost eight seconds by Ballaugh but by Ramsey Farquhar had begun to cut into his lead, reducing it to five seconds by Ramsey and a further second by the Bungalow.

The gap was down to 1.7 seconds going into the last lap with Buckley clocking 109.943 on the third lap to Farquhar’s 109.910 and the Northern Ireland moved into the lead at Glen Helen by less than a second from Scotland’s Buckley.

However, Buckley was reported retired at Kerrowmoar on the last lap with mechanical failure, leaving Farquhar to take the chequered flag in 1:19.49.56(113.437mph). Behind him there was a battle emerging for the runner up slot between John Barton and Mick Godfrey on the 997 Kawasaki with the pair swapping places on the last lap before Barton came home in second 1:24.31.47 (107.131mph), five seconds ahead of third placed man Godfrey 1:24.36.65 (107.022mph).

After a gap of a minute after the last Classic Superbike machine started, the Junior Post Classic got underway. Chris Palmer, the fastest qualifier, was first away, followed by Roy Richardson and Philip McGurk, all on TZ Yamaha’s.

Richardson was fastest to Glen Helen but lead by less than a second from Palmer with Philip McGurk the last podium position. Richardson (20:33.19-110.144mph) and Palmer (20:45.51 – 109.054mph) were the first two at the end of the first lap with Stuart Garton (21:27.02-105.537mph) moving into third place.

Richardson powered ahead on the second lap and built a 34 second lead over Palmer as the pair came into the pits to refuel at the end of the second lap with Stuart Garton holding third a minute and a half further back. That remained the position at the end of the third lap with Richardson extending his lead to almost forty five seconds at the end of the third lap and he duly came home in 1:23.12.61 (108.823mph) from Palmer (1:23.55.26-107.902mph) with Garton (1:25.05.03-106.427mph) maintaining third place. The win was the 27th by the Martin Bullock Race team at the Manx Grand Prix. See Richardson's podium pic below.


Earlier in the day, seventeen time TT Race winner John McGuinness, the overall 2011 TT championship winner, went round the mountain course on a parade lap on in his Honda Legends double TT winning Fireblade, the same machine that won the Dainese Superbike and PokerStars Senior TT in 2011.

“There were a lot of people out there including marshals and medics and it made me appreciate how much goes into organising the event. It was really special to get the most famous track in the world to myself for half an hour. I just want to go again now," said McGuinness.

“I was getting a lot of pit boards with things like seventeen and P1, which was great. I got my head down in a few places and rode the bike quite hard. I’ve had so many experiences here - both ups and downs – but I love the place. That feeling never goes away. I watched Hutchy go round last year and I was really jealous and thought I definitely want to do that so I was delighted to be invited by the organisers.“

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