Ryan Farquhar continued his winning ways this weekend at the Ulster GP by securing the top spot in the Supertwins race on Saturday. Problems in qualifying saw him start a number of races down on the grid, but he still scored a number of respectable top-eight finishes in the Superbike and Supersport races.
Fellow SHARK-supported Ian Lougher had success in the middleweight classes winning the 250cc and 125cc races at the Dundrod circuit. Manx-man Conor Cummins finished sixth in the Superstock race, and David Johnson returned to the roads to finish within the top ten in the Superbike race.
Meanwhile, the MotoGP championship returned from its summer break as the 11th round continued from Brno in the Czech Republic. The Moto2 race was arguably the best battle of the year so far, with the leading pack of four riders swapping positions time and again around the fast, wide Brno track. SHARK-man Stefan Bradl was in the thick of it defending his championship title lead against Marquez, De Angelis and Iannone. After a fierce 20-lap fight that saw the four riders within inches of each other, it was Iannone who crossed the line first. Marquez took second place with Bradl hot on his heels in third. Bradl still maintains his championship lead by 43 points.
The 125cc class saw a further podium for SHARK-rider Johann Zarco, who came home in second place following a tussle with race winner Cortese. Title leader Terol was leading the pack for most of the race but lost power during the halfway stage, leaving the door open for Zarco and Cortese. Zarco took the lead, with Cortese shadowing until the start of the penultimate lap when he managed to overtake. Both riders were neck and neck during the final stages, but a near high side for Zarco saw Cortese take his first 125 race victory. Zarco lies second in the overall championship, just 12 points behind Terol.
Ryan Farquhar: “It’s definitely been a bit of an up and down meeting for me and, aside from the Supertwins races, it’s been heavy going – just as it looked like I might be able to get a good result, something’s come along to prevent it! In all the years of racing I’ve done at the Ulster, it has to be the most problematical qualifying I’ve ever had with all manner of things going wrong whether it be the weather, a poor tyre choice or something else! Still, I got stuck in during Thursday’s races and was right with Wayne when the red flag came out in the Supertwins race so, with no time to re-run the race, I had to settle for second. I was way back on the fifth row for the Superbike race but made a really good start and got by everyone bar Guy Martin who was so far ahead by the time I’d got up to second I couldn’t even see him! I felt comfortable out there but another red flag came out just as another podium looked to be on the cards. »
Stefan Bradl, Moto2: third: “I got out front but the other guys caught me. I’m happy with the race and I cannot be unhappy with another podium. I enjoyed myself a lot, it was fun out there. Maybe I could have attacked at the end but De Angelis passed me once too often. It was very close and now we look to Indianapolis where I know I can again run a good pace.”