NW200: Ryan Farquhar says 'I've had enough' and vows to fight decision to strip Richard Cooper of Supertwin wins

Ryan Farquhar was left fuming after the Kawasaki Supertwin he built for Richard Cooper was deemed to have been in breach of the regulations at the North West 200.

By Kyle White
Monday, 16th May 2022, 10:34 am
Updated Monday, 16th May 2022, 10:37 am

Nottingham rider Cooper produced two stunning performances on the J McC Roofing machine to take the chequered flag in both races, shattering the lap record for the class.

He won the first race by more than eight seconds from French rider Pierre Yves Bian (VAS Engine Paton) and race by over 11 seconds from Joe Loughlin (ILR/Coverdale Paton) to seal his maiden wins around the 8.9-mile ‘Triangle’ course.

However, the celebrations were cut short after a protest was lodged prior to the second race, and it was later confirmed that Cooper had been stripped of his race victories.

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Richard Cooper celebrates his opening Supertwin race victory at the North West 200 on Saturday with the J McC Roofing team plus Ryan Farquhar and wife Karen (right).

A statement issued on Saturday evening by the race organisers said the machine had been excluded from the results ‘because of a modification to the machine’s frame, which is deemed to be against the rules by the stewards of the meeting’.

Cooper’s disqualification meant Yves Bian was declared the winner of race one, with Loughlin from Castleblayney promoted to first position in the second race.

It was a huge blow to Cooper, plus two-time NW200 Supertwin winner and class ambassador Farquhar and Jason McGaw’s Northern Ireland team, on what should have been a dream day to remember.

“At this minute in time, I’m finished,” Farquhar told the News Letter on Sunday.

“The way I feel right now, I’m done with it. I’ve a couple of lads I have commitments to for the rest of the year but after that… I’m just fed up getting kicked every road I turned and getting slagged off and everything else.

“There’s nobody puts more into preparing their bikes and doing more for road racing than I do, and I’ve had enough right now.

“It’s been one thing after another and I’m used to it now, but it’s my sponsors and Richard that I feel sorry for,” he added.

“I can take it on the chin, but I’m gutted for the sponsors who have put their money and products into this to help us achieve our goals.

“Richard rode his heart out and ended up getting a kick in the teeth for it.”

Farquhar said he has been using the frame on the Kawasaki raced by Cooper for a number of years, which was the same frame on Derek McGee’s KMR Kawasaki when the Mullingar rider finished second in the Lightweight race at the 2018 Isle of Man TT.

“I’ve been using that particular frame for five years,” added the Dungannon man, who has been a driving force behind the success of Supertwin racing at the major road races and on the Irish national scene.

“Derek McGee finished second on it at the Isle of Man TT, with that exact bike. The TT sticker is still on the frame, which you get when you go through scrutineering at the TT.

“You can’t go through scrutineering with a bike that you haven’t qualified on because it wouldn’t have the official sticker. That sticker is still on our frame and we finished second at the TT on the bike, and there wasn’t a word said about it.

“I even stripped the engine for them yesterday (Saturday) at the North West so they could see it was all legal and everything.

“It’s a joke and we’re going to appeal it, and fight it all the way. I’m not going to let it go and I want the chance to be able to sit down with whoever we need to, and state our case.”

Farquhar is adamant that he was not in breach of the regulations having had the opportunity to read over the rulebook after racing concluded.

“They are saying that you cannot modify the frame, but the way I see it, I have done nothing wrong,” he said.

“I don’t want to say too much about it right now because I want to have a meeting and be able to state my case.

“The way they read it and the way I read it, we need to sit down and discuss it properly and that didn’t happen yesterday.”

Cooper was left dismayed by the outcome, which has soured an excellent week for the former two-time British Superstock 1000 champion at the North West 200.

“It’s been pretty emotional, I’m not going to lie,” he said.

“What I’ve been through since 2020 I can’t even describe (after sustaining a serious leg injury at Donington Park) and never did I think I would be standing on the podium again, never mind five times in one week.

“But my Supertwin pole position, lap record and two wins has been taken away from me.

“Congratulations to the team and rider who felt they needed to do this.”