Two Times Southern 100 Solo Champion Ryan Farquhar has been honoured in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours 2020.
The Dungannon man has been awarded the British Empire Medal for Services to Motorcycling.
He is Ireland’s most successful Irish national road racer with his achievements being recognised last year when his tally of 357 road racing victories were entered in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The now 44-year-old won his first Southern 100 Solo Championship in 2003 and ‘lifted’ the coveted Derek Ennett Trophy for a second time, seven years later in 2010.
Ryan Farquhar made his Billown Course debut in 1999 riding a McAdoo Racing 600cc Honda, he finished eighth in his first race the G H Corlett Solo Founders Race, following that with a seventh place in the S&S Motors 600cc race and completed his debut year with a fine 10th place on the Ronaldsway Shoe Company Solo Championship race won by Joey Dunlop. Ryan was the second 600 to finish, just pipped by another Ulsterman Uel Duncan.
However it was 2003 before he took his first race victory on the 4.25-mile course, not at the Southern 100, but at the extremely popular ‘Steam Packet Road Races’, the day after the Senior TT, Ryan took the chequered flag in the feature 1000cc race.
Returning a month later he tasted victory in the opening race of the July meeting the G H Corlett Solo Founders race and then two days later Championship Day he won the Southern 100 Solo Championship Race by 2.4 seconds from Jason Griffiths with Martin Finnegan third. Ryan’s tally for the week was four wins, two seconds and a third place plus three fastest laps including the fastest lap of the meeting for which Ryan became the first recipient of the new Joey Dunlop Trophy presented to the Southern 100 Club my Bertie Payne, Joey’s 250cc Sponsor.
Not content with receiving unique trophies, Ryan Farquhar received the Geoff Duke Trophy at the end of the year after winning the Duke Road Race Rankings Championship for 2003 for the first time, eventually winning the rankings title seven times in total between 2003 and 2012!
He added two wins and two second places to his C.V. in 2004 along with three more podium places in 2005.
Injury prevented Ryan racing at ‘the friendly races’ in 2006 and 2007, returning in the following year and picking up three runner-up places.
Ryan Farquhar was back to winning ways in 2009 taking three wins and second in the ProTours Solo Championship, setting a record lap of 112.169mph as he chased Guy Martin to the flag missing out by 0.163 of a second!
2010 was to be the Dungannon aces year as he won his second ProTours Solo Championship race after having secured three wins prior to the feature race of the meeting, also adding two third and a fourth place to his weeks tally plus four fastest laps.
He secured a further two race victories in 2011 along with two thirds and fifth (his first!) along with a couple of fastest laps.
On what was to turn out to be his final year at the Southern 100, Ryan achieved a win in the Supertwins class, a third and two fourth places.
Ryan Farquhar made the decision to retire as a professional road racer at the of 2012, a multiple Southern 100 race winner with 16 victories including two Solo Championship titles. Add in nine seconds places; eight third; three fourths and one fifth, plus 12 fastest laps and one record lap. He also notched up five race wins at the ‘Steam Packet Road Races’ between 2003 and 2008.
A race winner at the North West 200, the Isle of Man TT and the Ulster Grand Prix, since 2013 he has focused solely on running his KMR Kawasaki team, although he did return and race in selected road races in 2014, 2015 and 2016 until a life-threatening crash at the North West 200 persuaded him to hang up his leathers once more.
Ryan told the News Letter this latest accolade was particularly special.
“For anyone to say they’re not proud of being recognised in this way I think they’d be lying,” he said.
“I feel very honoured because when I started in this sport it was just a hobby for me. At no time was I ever a factory rider and although there are a lot of people who deserve a lot of credit for helping me over the years, I got the majority of my wins off my own back.
“I built my own bikes and ran my own team and the fact that I’ve never been a factory rider makes this even sweeter for me,” added Farquhar.
“In motorcycle racing and especially road racing, there are not many riders who have raced at a high level even on factory bikes that has received an award like this, so from that point of view it’s something I’m personally very proud of.”
Many Congratulations from all involved with the Southern 100 Racing.
(Photo depicts Ryan receiving the Joey Dunlop Trophy from Bertie Payne at the Southern 100 Prize Presentation in Castletown Square on Thursday evening 10th July 2003)