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Opinion pieces

Ryan Farquhar – Oliver’s Mount hero


Ryan Farquhar first made his debut at Oliver’s Mount 14 years ago and has since gone on to become one of the iconic circuits best ever riders. It was last year that saw Ryan finally win the Steve Henshaw international gold cup on his teams Kawasaki superbike, winning the race comfortably in front of TT legend John Mcguinness.

In 2009 at the Barry Sheene race festival Ryan won 18 races in a day surely a record at a road racing event. Ryan in his career racing at Oliver’s Mount has won in virtually every class of racing in particular for me his most dominant wins have come in the super-twins 650 cc class of racing.

Most recently this year Ryan took victory in the feature race at the Cock of the north road races in July, and also took a brace of wins at the Spring cup in April of this year. At the Scarborough gold cup in September Ryan rode for the last time at Oliver’s Mount during his farewell parade laps where Ryan was joined by many road racing stars on these laps.

I and many a fan at Oliver’s Mount that day clapped Ryan as he went past us at the Esses. It was a fitting way to say to Ryan thanks for all the brilliant racing at Oliver’s Mount over the years. The term hero is something only used to describe people who have scaled heights no one else has achieved before. Around Oliver’s Mount Ryan Farquhar was a rider who scaled those heights more than most.

Ryan Kneen set for return to the mountain course this year


Manxman Ryan Kneen is set to return to competing on the mountain course this year by making his debut in the Isle of Man TT races. Ryan will be competing in the two supersport TT races on a Kawasaki ZX-6 supersport bike with the aim being personal best lap times and finishing both of the supersport 600 races.

Ryan made his debut competing at the worlds most famous road race circuit at the Manx grand prix in 2008. In 2008 Ryan took victory in the newcomers A Manx grand prix race and also on the same day his brother now TT star Dan Kneen took victory in the newcomers C race.

Ryan went onto to achieve another two podium finishes in the junior and senior Manx grand prix races at the 2009 event. Ryan then took a break for a couple of years from road racing but returned by competing at the Southern 100 in 2012 taking victory in the 125/400 race.

Ryan then went onto achieve consistent results on his debut at the Killalane road races before then taking part in the Ulster grand prix. Ryan’s Ulster grand prix meeting went well achieving a top 10 whilst setting his fastest ever lap times around the Dundrod based road race circuit.

So now onto 2013 where Ryan’s main event for this year is the Isle of Man TT. Despite having not competed at the world famous road race circuit for a few years now Ryan’s experience of being a winner and podium finisher at the Manx grand prix will stand him in good stead, when he enters the Isle of Man TT for the first time this year.

Alongside competing at the TT Ryan will take in the Southern 100 and the Ulster grand prix this year competing like at the TT in the supersport 600 races. Hugely naturally talented on road race circuits like his brother Dan, Ryan Kneen is someone likely to make quite an impression in the road race paddock this year, one to watch at the Isle of Man TT when the supersport TT races for 2013 start.

Conor Cummins set this years road racing season


Conor Cummins is all set for this years road racing season. Conor is for this season competing for the Milwaukee Yamaha team at the Isle of Man TT, North west 200, Ulster grand prix, Southern 100 and Macau grand prix.  In 2012 Conor achieved podium finishes at the Southern 100, Dundrod 150 races and the Ulster grand prix when competing for the Tyco Suzuki by TAS team.


For this season the main aim for Conor is to race wins at the Isle of Man TT. Conor has lapped at the TT at over 131.5 mph making him the second fastest ever rider around the world famous road race circuit. Conor has also set lap records at the Southern 100, Ulster grand prix and Macau grand prix in his road racing career so far.


Known as the “two metre man” due to his height Conor is most known for his exploits on the big bikes but Conor has also achieved some significant results in the supersport 600 class at the international road races. This includes a maiden TT podium finish in the second supersport TT race of 2009.


Conor has competed only once at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough on a Honda RS250 bike achieving a top 10 finish in the second 250 race of the day at the 2008 Steve Henshaw international gold cup road races. The Manxman who is one of the most highly rated riders in the road racing paddock is looking forward to competing for the Milwaukee Yamaha team this season.


When Conor competes at the Isle of Man TT this year he will be one of the riders to watch. Plus now with the news that Conor is competing in the world endurance championship it can only but be a help for Conor in gaining more bike time ahead of his main event of the season, the Isle of Man TT.

Glenn Irwin is set to make his road racing debut at 2014 Ulster Grand Prix. Glenn is competing on Robbie Silvester’s VRS racing ER6 Kawasaki in both super twin races, it will be interesting to see how British supersport championship contender Glenn will adapt to the hugely popular road race.

We’ve seen this year Peter Hickman and Danny Webb enjoy making their TT debuts and i’m sure Glenn will enjoy competing at Dundrod which has a fast flowing nature to it.

Malachi Mitchell Thomas had a successful road racing debut at 2014 Southern 100. Competing for Silicone engineering racing on a R6 Yamaha Malachi secured 14th place finish in opening 600/1000 race and was second supersport 600 mounted rider home.

Next up was first supersport 600 race, Malachi got a good start slotting into the top ten before producing a fine display to achieve a highly creditable seventh place finish.

Second supersport race would prove to be the best race of the week for him. 6th place finish beating many experienced competitors around Billown proved how well Malachi was riding at the friendly races.

Solo championship and another top result was recorded this time 14th position was acquired, plus the Silicone engineering racing rider was leading supersport 600 rider in the race.

Malachi is making his Manx Grand Prix debut soon and was a good start number of 12 for newcomers a race the potential is there for the rider who had a brilliant Southern 100 debut to produce the same kind of form on the mountain course.

Kawasaki’s presence at the Isle of Man TT in recent years has got bigger and bigger. More teams are running ZX10 and ZX6 Kawasaki’s whilst RC Express racing, PR racing, Quattro Plant Muc off Kawasaki, Horst Saiger racing and KMR Kawasaki have all enjoyed successful TT 2014 competing in conjunction with the iconic manufacturer.

Already looking to 2015 Paul Bird motorsport are confirmed to run eight times TT winner Ian Hutchinson on ZX10 Kawasaki’s in superbike, superstock and senior TT races plus the road racing legend will be bidding for supersport TT success when ZX6 Kawasaki mounted. Plus although not announced at this moment in time there looks set to be a current TT winning team who will have factory Kawasaki backing for TT 2015.

How competitive will the new R1M Yamaha be at TT 2015

This is a question which is been asked by many in the road racing world. The new R1M Yamaha is an exceptional new superbike from Yamaha but how competitive will it be on the most famous road racing circuit in the world, the mountain course.

With 11 times TT winner Michael Dunlop and reigning lightweight TT winner Dean Harrison confirmed to compete on the highly anticipated new superbike expectations are high that Yamaha could enjoy their first big bike TT victory since 2005 when John McGuinness was victorious in blue riband senior TT.

In recent years Yamaha’s have struggled in superbike and senior TT races. The iconic manufacturers best senior TT result in 2010’s has been Josh Brookes seventh place finish in 2014.

Milwaukee Yamaha and Mar Train racing Yamaha are determined to make the new R1M Yamaha competitive and there is no doubt of the determination of both Michael Dunlop and Dean Harrison.

However their is the unpredictability factor when a new bike takes the mountain course. It will be fascinating to see how the all new superbike performs at TT 2015, its one of the main questions that will be answered at what is set to be an ultra exciting Isle of Man TT.

Tornado Made Out Of A Stiff Breeze

At the recent launch of the 2017 TT Races, much was made out of two sound bites, produced by Ian Hutchinson and Michael Dunlop.

Hutchy when asked about his rivalry with the 13 times TT winner, at TT 2016, gave a concise authoritative answer, which was followed by him stating, that he felt things had gone a bit to far last year, then an expletive followed.

Michael Dunlop went onto state, about how one rider should be happy I didn’t take his ride. According to other news publications this was in relation to his chief Tyco BMW rival.

In my opinion though this could be in relation to another factory rider, rather than what’s out in the open.

I state this view, cause keep in mind was there any public acknowledgement about Michael holding contract talks with Tyco BMW? nothing was made public about this.

Let’s be honest Hutchy’s views about last year, where not to be unexpected, cause of this I can’t help but feel alongside my previous point, that certain high level publications have made a tornado out of a stiff breeze in relation, to the quotes produced by the two fastest riders in history around the Mountain Course.