Ryan Farquhar has signed multiple Irish road racing champion Derek McGee to contest the Supertwin class in 2018.
‘Mullingar Missile’ McGee won the Superbike, Supersport and Supertwin championships at the Irish nationals during a trophy-laden 2017 and will open his campaign at the Cookstown 100 next April.
McGee will return to the Isle of Man TT after missing the event this year and will also compete at the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix.
Dungannon man Farquhar, who hasn’t raced since a life-threatening crash at the North West in 2016, has confirmed that IEG will remain on board as his title sponsor for the TT in 2018, where he will field a four-man team as he focuses solely on the Supertwin class.
“I’m just running Supertwins this year and Derek will ride for me for the whole season. He has the bike for the year and he can do pretty much whatever he wants – any national races he chooses – and he’ll do the North West 200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix,” Farquhar said.
“He’s in a good position for the nationals and I’m fairly confident he will do a good job on all of his bikes, but especially on the twin. Hopefully we’ll be able to get him onto the podium again at some of the international races next year.
“IEG are on board again as my title sponsor for the TT and the agreement with them is that I have to run four Supertwins,” added Farquhar.
“For the North West, I’ve been talking to other riders but nothing has been finalised yet, or with the organisers either. I’m hoping to have at least four bikes out at the TT and then maybe three at the North West if I can get things to fall into place.”
Farquhar’s team enjoyed a stellar 2017 with Michael Rutter winding back the years as he won the second Supertwin race at the North West 200, clinching his 14th victory around the Triangle course. Rutter also finished as the runner-up in the opening Supertwin race on the KMR Kawasaki.
There were more celebrations for Farquhar at the TT after Peter Hickman claimed a podium with third in the Lightweight race, while Australia’s Josh Brookes finished sixth.
“We had a fantastic year with a first and second at the North West and a third and a sixth at the TT,” said Farquhar.
“We were also involved with different riders on the short circuits like Simon Reid and Cameron Dawson. All in all I was really pleased and we were also involved with Jonny Towers, who won the British Thundersport Championship after using my motors for half the season.
“It went well but a lot more development has gone into the bikes and they’ll be even more competitive next year than they were this season.
“There is a new model out but at the moment I know there is a lot more potential in the older bike so I’m going to put all our effort into it,” he added.
“I’m not going to risk the new bike at this stage because I’m not convinced that it’s a better package at this minute in time.”
Farquhar, meanwhile, has again ruled out racing himself in the immediate future.
“I’m still waiting to get an operation on my ankle and I wouldn’t be fit enough to get on a bike and ride it the way I would want to. At the minute it’s just a no-go.”
TT legend John McGuinness has stated his interest in riding a Supertwin next year for the first time but asked if the 23-time Mountain Course winner would be on a KMR Kawasaki, Farquhar was keeping his cards close to his chest.
“I can’t say anything at this stage and that’s all I can say about it.”