After a series of spectacular rides at the North West 200, Ryan Farquhar believes he could be even stronger at the 2012 Isle of Man TT fuelled by Monster Energy.
The two-times TT winner said results at the NW200 bode well for the TT, which starts on Saturday, and added the 37.73-mile Mountain course is a track which suits him better than the short circuit-style 8.9-mile North West Triangle.
After winning Thursday evening’s SuperTwin race, with his KMR teammates Jeremy McWilliams and Michael Rutter sharing the podium, Farquhar took two top five finishes from his three races on Saturday.
The Dungannon star was in contention for the podium throughout and ended with 4th in the Superstock race and 5th in the opening Superbike rac.
Farquhar completed the first lap of the Superbike race in 4th, riding a bike he'd only finished building in his workshop the week before.
A lap later, race leader Alastair Seeley overshot Church Corner and Farquhar was up to 3rd, and just 0.4 seconds behind fellow Kawasaki rider Michael Rutter. There was little to choose between the dicing duo and by the end of lap four, with Farquhar in 2nd. However, Seeley had regrouped and was tearing his way through the field. The Suzuki rider seized second on lap five and the remainder of the race saw Farquhar, Rutter and Cameron Donald dispute the final podium spot, with Donald taking 3rd and Farquhar 5th.
The Superstock race was even more fraught with never more than a couple of seconds between Farquhar, Seeley, James Hillier and John McGuinness at the head of the field. However, Rutter, who started from the second wave, won the race on corrected time, the other four riders battling for 2nd to the end of the six lap race, finishing with Seeley and Hillier in 2nd and 3rd and Farquhar 4th, and just 1.8s separating 2nd to 5th places.
Farquhar’s last race of the day was the feature Superbike event, but after making changes to the ZX-10R following the earlier race, the set-up wasn't quite as good and he retired from 6th on lap four.
Meanwhile, teammate Jamie Hamilton put in a strong showing on his circuit debut and was unlucky to only take one finish from his three races as brake fade and an oil leak led to retirements.
“It's been another good day for me and to be fighting it out for the rostrum positions in every race was very pleasing. To be honest, it was as big a shock to me as anyone else that I was so high up in the Superbike race as the bike hadn't even turned a wheel until Tuesday's practice session!”
“Qualifying went well with it so I didn't take it out in the wet on Thursday and with a good start to the race I was up to 2nd and battling with Michael Rutter before I knew it. It's the best Superbike I've ever ridden and with a bit more time on it, I'll be able to get it dialled in more and really challenge.”
“The only thing that let me down in the race was my personal fitness and that's essentially what allowed some of the boys to get me on the last lap. I've worked so hard getting all the bikes ready, especially for the Supertwins race, that I haven't had time to train but the SuperTwins race was my priority this week so I've no regrets.”
“To be riding with people like Michael, who know their bikes inside out, was very pleasing indeed whilst the Superstock race went equally as well. Sure, it would have been nice to have finished on the podium, but I gave it my all and couldn't have ridden any harder.”
“I also think I proved that I could mix it with the short circuit riders like Alastair and James who certainly excel through the slower chicanes and I should be even stronger at the TT, a track that suits me better.”
“All in all, I'm happy with how the day went and it bodes well for the TT. Jamie had a few niggling little issues, but for his first North West 200, he gave a very good account of himself and was mixing it with a lot of vastly more experienced riders so the TT's looking good for him too.”
“We're all hoping he gets plenty of mileage in, has some good finishes and enjoys himself.”