Suter TT chance ‘came at wrong time’ for Ryan Farquhar

Dungannon road racer Ryan Farquhar.
Dungannon road racer Ryan Farquhar.

Ryan Farquhar reluctantly turned down the opportunity to ride the exotic Suter MMX 500 two-stroke at this year’s Isle of Man TT.

Ulster’s most successful ever Irish National road racer was under consideration by the Swiss manufacturer to race the rare machine in the Superbike and Senior events around the legendary Mountain Course in June, but was unable to commit this year as he pursued another option for 2016, which the Dungannon man says was ultimately more ‘beneficial’.

The Suter MMX is based on the wild two-stroke 500cc Grand Prix machines of the late eighties and nineties, producing a claimed 195bhp and weighing only 127kg, with a top speed estimated at 193mph.

Only 99 have been developed, aimed at wealthy private amateur racers and boasting a hefty price tag of 120,000 euros (£85,000).

Welshman Ian Lougher has been confirmed as the man to lead Suter’s debut at the TT this year, but Farquhar hopes another chance will materialise in the future to experience the thrill of riding the one-off bike around the Mountain Course.

“Jeremy [McWilliams] knows Eskil Suter [CEO of Suter Racing] really well from his Grand Prix days and both of them had spoken about the possibility of me riding the bike,” Farquhar said.

“My name was put forward as one of the riders and while I would love a ride on something like that, the offer sort of came at a bad time because there were a few other things in the pipeline.

“You always have to look at the bigger picture and what will prove most beneficial for yourself. I wasn’t able to give an answer because it wasn’t my first choice option and it got to the stage where they needed a yes or a no, so unfortunately this time I had to turn it down,” added Farquhar.

“Hopefully sometime in the future I will get the opportunity to ride the bike and it would be something special to be on it around the TT circuit.

“It’s so unique, fuel-injected and it’s almost a 600cc V4: it looks the part and I know it will sound absolutely amazing.”

A spokesperson for Suter confirmed that three-time TT winner Farquhar was ‘absolutely in our mind’ for the ride.

“In the beginning of the project, two months ago, we were first thinking to bring two bikes to the Isle of Man. We later decided that because of the time schedule, it would be better to work only with one bike.

“Ryan is an excellent rider and his name was absolutely in our mind.

“But we are convinced that Ian Lougher, with his big experience, his two-stroke background and his professional determination and attitude, is the best choice.”

Michael Rutter was also linked to the ride.