Isle of Man TT winners Ryan Farquhar and Michael Dunlop battled for victory in the Grand Final race at Armoy on Saturday, with Dunlop taking the honours.
The pair, both race winners at the 2012 TT fuelled by Monster Energy, dominated the ‘Race of Legends’ meeting, with Farquhar taking two victories and having to give best to Dunlop in three races.
KMR Kawasaki rider Farquhar opened his account with a comfortable win in the Moto 450cc race, which was held in wet weather.
The rain worsened for the Supersport 600cc race and after two warm up laps the riders spoke to the officials and, with lots of standing water, the race was delayed. When it resumed, Dungannon’s Farquhar grabbed the holeshot and led for the opening three laps before the rain returned. He signalled to the officials, who had agreed to stop the race if conditions became unrideable.
Dunlop passed Farquhar just before the line and, with another lap being completed, he was awarded the victory when the race was eventually stopped.
In the first Superbike race, with conditions still wet, Farquhar opted to take out his 600cc machine again. Despite being at a major disadvantage against the 1000cc machines, he led for the first two laps before being overhauled by Dunlop and Guy Martin.
Meanwhile, teammate Jamie Hamilton, a star newcomer at the 2012 TT, took a solid 8th.
The KMR Kawasaki duo went head-to-head in the Supertwins race and there was little between them, but it all went wrong when Hamilton tried to out-brake his team leader and crashed out.
That enabled Farquhar to take the win from Adrian Archibald and Michael Sweeney.
In the Grand Final Dunlop and Farquhar again went head-to-head, with Farquhar leading in the early stages before his younger rival found a way through. There was nothing separating the two until the closing few laps when backmarkers came into play and that was enough to allow Dunlop to edge out a gap, leaving Farquhar to settle for 2nd.
There was also joy for fellow TT star William Dunlop as he took victory in the 250cc race.
“It was really wet at the beginning of the day, especially in the 600cc race where there was that much surface water, it simply wasn't safe to continue. The officials gave it some time to dry up and said if it started raining again, raise our hands. I did that and although the race win eventually went to Michael, I had no qualms finishing 2nd on a race decided on safety grounds.”
“With conditions still being far from ideal, I decided to take the 600 out for the Superbike race and I was pleased with 3rd given the fact I was up against 1000cc bikes.”
“The Supertwins race was going well for the team until Jamie crashed and I was lucky not to get caught up with him. Luckily he was okay, but it’s a real shame as the bike is pretty badly bent and there might not be enough time to get it repaired for the Ulster.”
“I managed to hold on to the win and that just left the Grand Final where I had a great battle with Michael. The Superbike is about 95% there now and I’m just struggling to get the engine braking sorted, but it was a real good race.”
“It was a just a pity backmarkers came into play at the end as it would have been nice to have gone into the final lap with it all still to play for, but I’m happy enough. I’m happy with the bike and I’m definitely going in the right direction so, overall, it’s been a solid day.”