Three-times Isle of Man TT winner Ryan Farquhar has thanked all his supporters as he brings an end to his glittering racing career - but has also signalled he hopes to remain part of the sport next year.
The KMR Kawasaki team boss marked his retirement with 3 laps of Scarborough’s Oliver’s Mount circuit surrounded by fellow TT racers including 19-times TT winner John McGuinness, Ian Hutchinson, Guy Martin, Michael Dunlop, Robbie Silvester and KMR teammate Jamie Hamilton.
Farquhar, who took his third and final TT win this year in the newly-introduced SuperTwin classm, took all seven of his KMR machines to the meeting to thank road racing fans for their support over his 18-year career.
“I'd just like to say thank you to everyone that's supported me during my career, it's meant an awful lot and I'm incredibly grateful for everything.”
“Life's going to very different for me now, but I really want to stay involved in the sport so will doing all I can to keep KMR Kawasaki going and at the forefront of the road racing results.”
“That's my goal now so, fingers crossed, I'll be in the paddocks in 2013.”
After completing the laps Farquhar added:
“I've always enjoyed coming to Scarborough so it was perhaps fitting I brought the curtain down on my career here. It was great to see such a big crowd and hear them applauding me so a big thank you to them too whilst it was also a pleasure to see all the boys out on my bikes.”
“I've enjoyed some great battles with them, and other riders like Keith Amor, over the years and it was quite unique seeing rivals out on my bikes - I felt very privileged and humble for sure.”
There was also delight for Farquhar as Hamilton, a star newcomer at the 2012 TT, took three top 5 finishes on the KMR Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Hamilton took part in both days of racing at the International Gold Cup meeting, although he was forced to out both superTwin events after a spill in the Saturday qualifying session which left the bike damaged.
He focused on the three Superbike races and the weekend couldn't have started any better on the ZX-10R Superstock machine with a superb third place in the opening leg of the Darran Lindsay Superbike trophy. Although he had to give best to Guy Martin and Dean Harrison, he kept Michael Dunlop and Bruce Anstey behind him for an excellent podium finish.
A brilliant start to the second leg of the Superbike on Sunday saw Hamilton slot into 2nd place behind Harrison. A lap later Martin was also through as Hamilton experienced brake problems, overshooting Farm Bends and allowing John McGuinness past on lap 5.
Helped by a fastest lap of 1m 46.159s, the seventh fastest lap ever around the circuit, Hamilton was able to keep hold of 4th, comfortably ahead of Anstey and Ian Lougher.
The feature International Gold Cup race was the final event for Hamilton, and he slotted into 5th at the end of the first lap, both him and Dunlop losing time when Michael Pearson highsided in front of them at the Memorial.
Hamilton again suffered brake problems, despite changing the pads between races, and was forced to again take the slip road at Farm Bends. He kept going and was rewarded with a solid 5th place for his third top 5 finish of another successful weekend.
“On the racing side of things, Jamie had another strong weekend and although it was shame he had to miss the two Supertwins races, where a podium and/or win would have been on the cards, he had three fine rides in the Superbike races. Despite the brake problems, he gave it his all and his lap times were excellent whilst beating Michael and Bruce is a fine achievement so it was a fine way to end his year.”