Fantastic five for Farquhar at Cookstown 100
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Fantastic five for Farquhar at Cookstown 100
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Ryan Farquhar got his Irish road race season off to a fantastic start on Saturday when he dominated the Cookstown 100 road races winning all 5 races he started. The KMR Kawasaki rider was again in imperious form and took the Grand Final, Open, Supersport 600, 450 and Super Twin races to remain unbeaten for the 2011 season.

With perfect conditions around the 2.1-mile Orritor circuit, Ryan's day got off to an ideal start when he took a start to finish victory in the Open race despite coming under pressure throughout from Cameron Donald, Guy Martin and Michael Dunlop and that was immediately followed by a more comfortable victory in the combined 400/450 race. Another close race followed in the Supersport 600cc race where it was again Ryan, Donald and Dunlop that were leading at the head of the field. Once again, Ryan was able to keep the others at bay to take his third win of the day.

The Grand Final was Ryan's penultimate race of the day and he signalled his intentions as he took an early lead. A mistake at the first road end at mid-race distance allowed Dunlop to slip by but, determined not to be beaten, Ryan shadowed his rival before making his move on the final lap and he held on for win number 4. To round out the perfedct day, Ryan then took a start to finish victory in the Super Twins race to make it 5 wins from 5 starts.

It was also a good day for fellow team members Sandor Bitter and Adrian Archibald. Bitter, making his debut at the circuit, got quicker and quicker as the day wore and ended with an excellent 2nd in the Cookstown 100 'B' race whilst Archibald took 4th in the Super Twins race despite being hampered by a blown head gasket.

Speaking afterwards, a delighted Ryan said:

"5 wins from 5 starts - it doesn't really get any better than that. And when you add in the wins at Scarborough, I couldn't have asked for a better start to the year. The races today were again very tough and I had to work extremely hard for them as all the top riders were here, which makes them even more satisfying. In the first Open race, Cameron got by me along the start and finish straight as his Superbike had a bit more speed than the Superstock bike but I got by him soon after and just rode as hard as I could to keep him at bay."

"In the Grand Final, I was leading the pack but then outbraked myself going into the first corner which allowed Michael Dunlop to overtake me but I dug deep, followed him for a couple of laps and then made my move on the final lap holding him off until the end. The Supersport race was also close between myself and Cameron, and I caught my knee on the grass at one stage, but, again, I just had enough to hold on. The 450 and Super Twin races were a bit more comfortable whilst it was great to see Sandor take 2nd in his final race of the day. I was well impressed with how he performed and he just got better and better as the day wore on. Adrian's bike had a problem with the head gasket otherwise we could have had the team's first 1-2 but we'll get that sorted for Tandragee. Like I say, it's been a brilliant day and I'll be looking for more of the same at Tandragee."

Ryan now heads to the Tandragee 100 road races with the meeting taking place on Saturday 7th May.

Phil Wain
01-05-2011, 05:56 PM
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