Retro Rewind: Ryan Farquhar emerges triumphant in TT’s inaugural Supertwin race

Ryan Farquhar lived up to his billing as the pre-race favourite when he won the inaugural Lightweight race for Supertwin machines at the Isle of Man TT in 2012.

Monday, 7th June 2021, 8:00 am

A pioneer of the class, Farquhar finished almost half-a-minute clear of Englishman James Hillier in the three-lap race, which was delayed as a result of poor weather.

With the TT cancelled for the second successive year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have dipped into the archives to look back at some memorable moments from the event over the past 15 years

Following a frustrating day of delays, the 2012 Lightweight race did finally go ahead at 6.30pm on Saturday, June 9, with Ulsterman Farquhar securing his first win around the 37.73-mile Mountain course since a Supersport success in 2005 for his third TT victory overall.

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Ryan Farquhar (KMR Kawasaki) celebrates his victory in the Lightweight race at the Isle of Man TT in 2012 with runner-up James Hillier (Bournemouth Kawasaki) and Michael Rutter (KMR Kawasaki). Also included is 11 times TT winner Phillip McCallen who presented the trophy.

“This is unreal,” Farquhar said.

“The race went exactly to plan and the wee bike never missed a beat.

“I’ve worked so hard for this over the last four years, building the bikes and promoting the class.

“There were a few damp patches but I was probably a bit over-cautious on the first lap,” he added.

“The race went exactly to plan and the wee bike never missed a beat. It’s a great way to end the week.”

The blue riband Senior TT, which traditionally brings the festival to a close on the Friday of race week, was also pushed back until the Saturday.

However, with conditions still deemed unsuitable for Superbike machines, the organisers eventually opted to cancel the race. It was the first time in the history of the TT races that the Senior event did not go ahead.

Morecambe’s John McGuinness, who was one of the riders to undertake a course inspection with liaison officer John Barton, said it was the right call to cancel the race.

“No one wants to see a race cancelled, but I think the right decision was made,” said McGuinness, who increased his tally of TT victories to 19 in 2012 following wins in the Superbike and Superstock races.

“There was so much rainfall on Friday that the course was saturated and on some parts of the course it simply wasn’t drying up.

“Through Glen Helen, the 13th Milestone and from the Mountain Mile to Brandywell were still very wet. As riders, we want to put on a show for the thousands of fans that come to the TT - and I feel for them more so than anyone - but not knowing what lies round the corner on a 200bhp Superbike with slick tyres is a very scary prospect.”

In the evening’s Lightweight race, 36-year-old Farquhar opened a gap of two seconds over Bournemouth Kawasaki rider James Hillier by the time they reached Glen Helen on lap one.

Farquhar, who started 10 seconds behind Hillier, had closed the deficit on the road on lap one on his KMR Kawasaki when they arrived at Ramsey Hairpin, with Michael Rutter – also riding a KMR Kawasaki – now moving into second place.

An opening lap of 115.088mph gave Farquhar the lead by 14 seconds from Hillier, who was now back into second place as Rutter slipped to third.

Farquhar and Rutter both opted to make their pit-stop at the end of the first lap, although Hillier went straight through and was now the new leader of the race at Glen Helen by 19 seconds from Russ Mountford, who also decided to make his pit-stop at the end of lap two.

Rutter lost time in the pits as he dropped down to sixth place but the positions shuffled once again after the second lap, when Hillier and Mountford made their fuelling stops.

Farquhar was now back in the lead with a healthy advantage of 28 seconds at Glen Helen on the third and final lap, with Hillier in second place – 11 seconds clear of Rutter. Mountford was now fourth, narrowly ahead of Cameron Donald, with Ballymoney’s William Dunlop holding sixth.

Farquhar maintained his cushion on the final lap and won by 28.99s from Hillier, while Rutter set the fastest lap of the race at 115.554mph on his way to third.

Aussie Donald overhauled Mountford for fourth, while Dunlop was sixth ahead of Ivan Lintin and Ian Lougher

Following his wins at the North West 200 and TT, Farquhar made it a clean sweep in the Supertwin races at the Ulster Grand Prix, where he wrapped up victory ahead of Ballyclare’s Jamie Hamilton, also on a KMR Kawasaki.