Ryan Farquhar’s KMR Kawasaki team is back at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix for the first time in five years with Paul Jordan and Derek McGee lining up in the Supertwins class.
Team owner Farquhar, who hasn’t raced since a life-threatening crash at the North West 200 in 2016, has already tasted success on the international stage this year, with Michael Rutter rolling back the years to win the second Supertwin race at the North West, while Peter Hickman claimed third in the Lightweight race at the Isle of Man TT.
Now, Farquhar is hoping to complete a clean sweep of rostrum finishes at the ‘big three’ major road races at Dundrod on Saturday.
Mullingar man McGee won the Supertwins race at the Ulster GP in 2015 and followed up with another win in the class in the Dundrod 150 meeting last August, while Jordan narrowly missed out on a podium in 2016 by a few tenths of a second in fourth, setting the fastest lap of the race at 116.859mph.
“I’ve a few new parts that I wanted to try out because over the past few years, I’ve tested things on the dyno and saw improvements, but it didn’t always translate to the track,” Farquhar said.
“With Dundrod being such a fast course with so much top speed, it’s as good a test as there is.
“A colleague of Derek’s has been doing the negotiating on his behalf to ride one of my bikes and Paul Jordan was on the lookout for a 650, so I messaged him to see if he was interesting and we sorted out a deal and it went from there.
“Paul had the fastest lap of the race last year and just finished off the podium. I helped him out a bit earlier this year at the TT when he was riding Brian Hull’s bike and they needed a few parts after he crashed in practice,” he added.
“I think on the right machinery, he’ll be up for a podium and it’s the same with Derek – I don’t see any reason why he won’t be thereabouts either.”
Farquhar expects his bikes to be a match for anything on the grid this week at Dundrod although he knows only too well that a little bit of lady luck also goes a long way.
“You need a bit of luck no matter what you’re riding but up until 2012, we were fairly dominant and at the North West and TT this year we were back on the podium,” said the 41-year-old.
“The Paton won’t be there, which is a lot lighter than the Kawasaki, and Martin Jessopp won’t be there either – they reckon that bike of Jessopp’s cost over £40,000 and they’ve done a great job with it in all fairness – but if you take those two bikes out of the equation, then my bikes should be as good as anything at Dundrod.
“It’ll come down to the day as well, with weather conditions and everything playing a part, but I do think the two riders are more than capable of getting on the podium if the bikes perform as well as I think they will.”
The CVRS Media Supertwins race takes place on Thursday during the Charles Hurst Motorcycles Dundrod 150, with the main Maxwell Freight Services Supertwins race featuring on the MCE Ulster Grand Prix programme on Saturday.