Dungannon's Ryan Farquhar and the KMR Kawasaki team's 2012 Isle of Man TT races got off to a disappointing start on Saturday when both Ryan and Jamie Hamilton were forced to retire from the opening six-lap Superbike TT race. Farquhar was forced out on the third lap after experiencing handling problems from lap one onwards whilst Hamilton, on his TT race debut, had to stop on the fifth lap with suspected fuel pump problems.
After a short 15-minute delay due to low lying cloud, the race got underway at 11.15am but it was soon apparent that all was not well with Farquhar. After enduring handling problems during practice, further changes to the suspension failed to cure the problem and after being outside the top ten at both Glen Helen and Ramsey, an opening lap of 124.171mph left him down in 17th place. Such were the problems, Ryan pulled in to make changes before rejoining the race. However, the changes failed to alleviate the problem and, after two more low speed laps, Farquhar pulled in at the end of the third lap.
After impressing greatly in practice, team-mate Hamilton made his TT race debut and immediately bettered his practice lap times with an opening lap of 120.666mph, his first ever 120mph lap of the Mountain Course. Going even quicker on lap two with a speed of 120.828mph, Jamie moved up to 29th place and this became 26th at half race distance. Sadly, any further progress was thwarted by suspected fuel pump problems and with the problem getting gradually worse, he was forced to stop on the fifth lap.
"It's been a really disappointing day and, to be honest, I've been chasing my tail a bit. The bike worked brilliantly at the North West 200, straight out of the crate, but it's been a long way off here. The opening practice night was the best the bike's been but it still wasn't ideal and all the changes we've made since just haven't worked and it was a real struggle just to hold on to the bike today. We've struggled to make progress and no matter what we try, we just can't get the high speed stability needed so it's been incredibly frustrating, particularly with all the amount of time and effort's that gone in," said Farquhar.
"At the end of the day, things could be a lot worse - let's face it, this time last year I was lying in hospital - but it's still annoying. As for Jamie, his race was going really well and to lap at close to 121mph on your TT debut is worth applauding. He's done everything right this week and I'm sorry that his race ended in retirement. It could be the fuel pump or it could be a filter so we'll strip it down tomorrow and get it sorted for the Superstock race. Today's been no fault of anyone so we'll keep plugging away and hope for better fortune on Monday."