Ryan Farquhar inducted into Hall of Fame
Seven-time Duke Road Race Rankings winner joins Joey Dunlop, Eddie Laycock, Brian Reid and other stars in Irish Motorcycling Hall of Fame.
Ryan Farquhar's road racing record speaks for itself: 357 race wins on the Irish National scene and three TT wins. In fact, his achievements in Irish National road racing have been recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph after being formally inducted into the Hall of Fame, the 43-year-old Dungannon star said “I’ve had a fantastic career and I’m still here to tell the tale, whereas there were a lot of other fantastic road racers who had great careers, but never got the opportunity to sit back and look at what they achieved over their racing lives. From that point of view, I’m very lucky.
“You can count on one hand the number of top riders who are here today to be able to look back on their achievements, riders like Phillip McCallen, Adrian Archibald, Brian Reid, Ray McCullough and the likes of Steven Cull – there are very few, so I’m very thankful because I was very close to becoming one of those riders who had that chance taken away from them.”
A serious accident at the 2016 North West 200 ended Farquhar's racing career but he continues his association with the roads through the highly successful KMR Racing Team, which has seen much success in SuperTwins at international road races.
Ryan's long career has always had a strong family focus, with his first ride coming on a bike his grandfather leant him. Reflecting on his successes he thanked those who'd given him a leg up on the way:
“I’m very thankful as well to the people who gave me my big breaks. The two key moments were when Steven Ewing bought me an ex-James Courtney 250cc Honda, which made a big difference to my career.
“After that, my next big break was with Winston McAdoo, which came after Bob Jackson got hurt. Kenny Harker too played a massive role in my career and was probably the sponsor who was with me for the longest period of time. My wife, Karen, has always been there for me too.
“I have some great memories of those early days and those weekends, going down south and working out of a small van with a few bikes. Those days were the best days, going out there and getting a few wins and having the craic, those times were very special to me.”
Ryan won the coveted ‘Geoff Duke Trophy’ in 2003, receiving the trophy from the six-time world champion at the Kings Hall in Belfast, retaining the rankings title in 2004.
2005 saw him hand over the unique trophy to the initial winner in 2002, Ian Lougher who beat him by a mere 95 points. 2006 saw Ryan miss this first part of the season through injury, only entering the fray at that year’s Mid Antrim 150, he finished the season in 23rd position. 2007 saw another difficult year, even so he finished in eighth place.
From 2008 to 2012, Ryan was invincible, winning the Duke Road Race Rankings each year.
Ryan was given the original Geoff Duke Trophy in 2010, after winning the title three years in a row, after a promise made by Geoff that if a rider won the championship hat-trick, he would retain the trophy for ‘keeps’, the promise honoured by Geoff’s son Peter.
All involved with the Duke Road Race Rankings Championship congratulate Ryan Farquhar on his well-deserved induction into the Hall of Fame.