This weekend the International Gold Cup at Olivers Mount, Scarborough took place and road racing fans were treated to some fine racing. It was a successful weekend for Shark, with seven wins and various podium places.
Flying Irishman Ryan Farquhar ended his 2011 racing season in sensational style winning all the seven races he started and securing a few career firsts with his name being added to the feature trophy; it was also the first time an Irishman has won the Gold Cup in its 60-year old history.
Saturday’s race action around the 2.43-mile public road was greeted with fine, sunny conditions and Farquhar’s first race was the opening leg of the Darran Lindsay Superbike trophy. TT legend John McGuinness led in the early stages but Farquhar was able to squeeze through on the third lap and hold on by just under a second for his first victory of the weekend. The Supertwins Trophy was next, and aided by a new lap record, the Irishman took the chequered flag by 3.1 seconds. The final race of the day was the David Jefferies Trophy, where Farquhar had competition from the Dunlop brothers, keeping them both at bay he managed to take the win from William by 0.838 seconds.
Sunday’s racing saw the riders greeted by vastly different conditions to the previous day, with fog and rain. It was a wet race for the second leg of the Darran Lindsay Trophy, and again McGuinness led for three quarters of the race before Farquhar overtook on lap six, taking the win and the trophy. Another victory in the Supertwins race saw Farquhar lead from start to finish. The feature Gold Cup race, was a two-horse race between Farquhar and McGuinness, pulling away from his rival Farquhar was able to take the victory and become the first ever Irish winner. Farquhar completed his day with another win to regain the David Jefferies Trophy.
Shark’s success continued with Jamie Hamilton taking third and fourth in the two Supertwins races, and Ian Lougher secured third place in the Gold Cup.
Meanwhile the MotoGP Championship arrived at the Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain for the 14th round of the 2011 championship. It was a mixed weekend for Shark, with one podium finish and riders collecting points.
125: Johann Zarco continued his successful 2011 campaign with another podium finish in second place – his eighth podium of the season. Zarco is still holding second place in the championship with 205 points. Fellow Shark supported Efren Vazquez finished the weekend in fourth place.
Moto2: Title leader Stefan Bradl lost out on valuable points this weekend finishing in eighth place. Fighting for the lead in the early stages, Bradl set the second fastest lap, but ran into trouble when his rear tyre moved on the rim. There are now just six points between Bradl and Marc Marquez for the championship lead. Fellow Shark-man Scott Redding got a blistering start from the front row of the grid, and immediately held the lead until the third lap, where Marquez took hold. Holding on for a podium finish, Redding lost grip in his rear tyre on the seventh lap, but managed to keep himself in a point-scoring 15th place.
MotoGP: Randy de Puniet was unable to finish within the top ten after starting from the fourth row on the grid, he finished the race in 12th position.
Ryan Farquhar: To have a 100% winning record this weekend is absolutely brilliant and to finally win the Gold Cup is the icing on the cake. I’ve been 2nd and 3rd in the past and it’s been the one trophy to elude me here at Oliver’s Mount but to win it at last is great and to become the first Irishman to get my name on the trophy makes it even more special.
Sunday was especially hard with the weather conditions and it was really slippery out there, especially under the trees, but we had the right tyres in each race and it all came together perfectly. Like I say to win 7 out of 7 is superb and it really doesn’t get much better than that. I was again really pleased with the efforts of Jamie this weekend too and it’s a pleasure to have him in the team. It wasn’t the easiest weekend for a circuit newcomer but he did a great job and to get on the podium, and ahead of Ian Lougher, is no mean achievement and something to be proud of.
It’s the end of the season for me and, overall, it’s been a good year. There’ve been a few ups and downs along the way but we’ve taken some wins and been competitive so I can’t complain so a big thank you to all my sponsors and to all the fans who’ve supported me during the year.
Scott Redding: The start of the race was incredible. I felt really good on the bike and was giving as good as I was getting because there were some hard but fair moves going on. I was gaining confidence and feeling I could fight for the podium when I suddenly started losing the rear. It felt really soft and I just kept getting slower and slower. I thought it was sliding because I was pushing so hard, but at the end it was really bad and the worst thing was I didn’t understand what was going on because it was a sensation I’d not experienced before. On the slowing down lap I could see there was a big issue with the rear tyre, so that is a bit frustrating when you lose a podium chance through no fault of your own. All I can do is look at the positives and when everything was working I was battling for the podium again.