| TT Website Interviews - Ryan Farquhar
||Ryan Farquhar, at twenty-four years old, is one of the most
exciting prospects on the Road Racing scene. He won the 2000 Manx Grand Prix
with consummate ease, and had several excellent results at other meetings
throughout the season.
This year he is back more determined than ever with
more machinery aiming for glory at the TT. We spoke to Ryan from his home in
Dungannon, Northern Ireland.
first of all you had an excellent season in 2000 achieving your main goal by
winning the Senior Manx Grand Prix. You also had several other good results
last year so you must be happy with how things went?
Aye that's right. At the start of the year the plan was to
win the Manx, the Junior Race as well, but it didn't happen although I was very
happy to win the Senior.
The North West was a bit of a disaster because
the 600 blew up on the second lap of practice. The Superbikes were running with
the 600's then and I couldn't get back to the pits. Then on the Thursday, the
session was called off because of the fog, so when the race came, I hadn't done
one lap of practice on the big bike.
The Southern was better and I
managed four fourths there, and I got two seconds at Skerries and Dundrod. At
Skerries Archibald beat me to line the line each time, but it was really
At the 'Manx' you dominated the Senior
race. Tell me about it; was it as easy as it looked?
(Laughs) Well from the flag I just went as quick as I could
because I wanted to build up a gap at the start and everything went to plan. I
thought it was going to be tighter than it was; I couldn't believe how easy it
was really but I really enjoyed it like. I would have liked to have pushed
harder to see how fast I could have lapped.
I did over 117mph from a
standing start, but I reckon on a flying lap if I had been trying hard I could
have added two or three miles an hour to that.
You broke down whilst leading
the Junior race at the Manx. You seemed to by flying, do you think you could
have won that one as well?
Aye, I think I could have. From the start to about
Ballacraine, I was held up a few times but then from there to Ginger Hall, I
reckon I would have made a lot of ground. I reckon if someone had a clock on us
there, I could have been getting on to about twenty seconds ahead. It was
probably the fastest I've ever ridden that section, because I knew it was going
to be a tight race.
Keith Townsend pitted after
the first lap of course which probably won him the race, but I think the way
you were going, you would still have beaten him
I think I would have like. I was six seconds ahead at Glen
Helen after getting held up and when I started getting a good run I think we
would have pulled more.
This year, you move up to
the TT of course. You must be looking forward to the prospect?
I can't wait. We've got a new R1 and Philip (McCallen) is
going to help me with what should be a competitive bike. I'm training really
hard so I should be in good shape, and I'm going to give it my best
Tell me about your current regime; do you
always train this hard?
No, I've never trained this hard before. I was talking to
Woosley Coulter and he was telling me how hard he's training and then when we
got the bike of Philip, he was telling me how hard he used to train and how fit
you have to be. He reckons that was what was wrong with Joey there for a few
years with the bigger bikes because he wasn't fit. But last winter like, he
reckons the amount of training Joey did and how fit he was just made the
difference at the TT.
So I've just bought a new Mountain Bike, and I'm
doing ten miles a day through the week, and then at the weekend I'm doing about
thirty miles. I'm doing some weights and stuff at the house, so as much as I
Jogging would be good but I can't do it because I broke my ankle in
'94 and I have a pin in it, so running doesn't really agree with
Your sponsor, Winston McAdoo, has purchased
Philip McCallen's R1 Yamaha for you to ride in 2001. There has been a lot
written about the bike in the past, and it is allegedly very quick indeed. Tell
us what you know about the machine so far?
What Philip said to me was that he fell out with Honda, and
then Motorcycle City told him they would build a bike for the TT to beat Honda.
There was no expense spared when they built the bike, including full World
Superbike spec forks, quick release wheels, fancy brakes and there's two
engines. He reckons it will be the quickest bike at the Isle of Man but we'll
have to wait and see.
When he rode the bike, he was more or less riding
it with one arm because he had a busted shoulder and he still went well at the
North West on it that year.
And you say Philip is
going to help you with the machine set up?
Yeah, he's really keen. He's always on to Winston (McAdoo)
telling him to make sure I keep training. He said that he will help me but I
don't quite know what arrangements have been made.
Will Bob Jackson, who has been your mentor in recent years,
still be involved with the team?
No not really. He will be at the TT and that and if I want
anything I can ask him, but he's not going to be part of McAdoo Racing. He's a
bit fed up to be honest with all the travel and that to Ireland. It's nothing
personal with me, but there has been a couple of things throughout the year,
and he's had enough.
How much of a help has Bob been
to your career in the last few years?
Well I had never ridden a four stroke before and he was able
to tell me what way to do this or do that. The first year I rode for Winston I
was riding a 125 and a 250, a 600 and 750, so I would be getting off the 125 on
to the big bike and then back onto the smaller bike and it was a waste of time,
because we were getting nowhere. Then Bob said if I wanted to get anywhere with
the big bikes, I would have to stop the wee bikes, so we scraped the 125 and
250 classes and concentrated on the big ones.
had some good performances in Ireland and at the Southern 100 as well last
year. Are you planning to take in the same meetings as you did last year in
Well I'll be doing the same Road Races but I want to do all
the Regal and Lambert and Butler Short Circuit rounds as well. Archibald,
Britton and these guys are riding every weekend where I was having four or five
weeks break, and the short circuits were keeping them sharp.
never keen for me doing the short circuits because he's not interested in them,
but he agrees with me now that I have to do them to keep myself sharp and bike
Do you see yourself continuing riding on the
roads or are you considering moving to ride the Short Circuits in the UK at any
In '96 I tried to go Supercup racing and I did a few races
but the bike wasn't competitive and nobody wanted to spend the money. If
anything ever happened to Road Racing at home and they banned it, I would
probably look to go Short Circuit racing in England, but it would be hard work
with all the travelling and that.
As we both know,
Road Racing as a sport has been the subject of much debate over recent months
after the tragedies last year. What are your thoughts concerning the sports
The way I look at it is if there's riders there to ride and
there's clubs there to run the races and there's sponsors, I think there will
always be Road Racing. I suppose the DOE could stop us closing the road but I
can't see them doing it, because Road Racing is probably the biggest sport in
But you never know, if we have another year like last year you
never know what might happen, but if we get a few years were there's no
accidents you wouldn't hear another word about it.
In the last year the riders that
have been killed have all been from the front end of the field, and although it
might not necessarily be right, it seems to make a bigger impact with the press
That's right. It's the same right across the board. Like in
car racing for instance, if Michael Schumacher was killed it would be in every
single newspaper, but if somebody was killed in a car race at say Jurby, you
wouldn't hear a word about it.
I don't want to see anything happen to
Road Racing, that's for sure. Every rider knows the risks and thinks it will
never happen, and you just carry on.
And you have
told me about the R1, but what other machinery will you have for 2001?
I have two 600 Kawasaki's, a Regal spec one and a tuned bike,
from last year with Kawasaki UK support and the big ZXR for a spare but
hopefully we'll never need to use it. I'm meant to be riding Dean Cooper's R1
at the North West, TT and the Ulster in the Production Race's but there may be
a bit of a doubt at the TT because of a few things.
You made your name riding two strokes in Ireland. Will we ever
see you back riding a 125 or 250?
I don't think you'll ever see me back on a 125 because I'm
too big for one. As for a 250, well I started out on them, but the problem with
a 250 is the cost to buy the bike and the class itself is dying. If you take
the TT for instance, there isn't that many starters and they have cut the prize
money. The class is finished. I think in four or five years, there won't even
be 125 races on the roads.
The manufacturers aren't interested because
the bikes they sell in the shops aren't 250 racing bikes, they're four stroke
road bikes. I mean you could take an R1 and for about six or seven grand you
have got a rocket ship, but with a 250 you have to spend thirteen grand, then
you have to tune it and there is no guarantee it is going to run well.
Finally Ryan can you tell me
what are your main aims for the 2001 season are?
I want to win Road Race's. I've had quite a few second places
where I have led right until the last lap and something's happened. I want to
be first or second every weekend like Archibald and Britton are.
the TT I'm really looking forward to it and the Southern plus we are hoping to
get to Macau this year
What are you looking for at
the TT? I think you will be looking for top ten's?
(Laughs) Well I can't really say. Put it this way, I would be
fairly disappointed if I was outside the top ten.
Well Ryan it has been lovely talking to you, and I wish you all
the best for 2001.
Thanks and anytime you want anything else just give me a
Interview by Paul Phillips