Kawasaki riders celebrate 3 Isle of Man TT wins and 8 podium places
June 11, 2012
Enjoying their most successful Isle of Man TT results for many years, Kawasaki riders and teams delivered three outright wins and eight podiums at the 2012 festival of racing.
With competition held over a week alternating race days with rest days, the familiar pattern of weather and other delays meant that timetable was as subject to change yet, with the exception of the cancelled Senior TT, all other races eventually took place before a huge and enthusiastic crowd. An early highlight – and indication of success to come – manifested itself courtesy of the very first race, the initial sidecar event on Saturday 2 June.
Expectations were high that TT stalwart, Dave Molyneux, and highly respected passenger, Patrick
Farrance, would do well after their domination of TT practice on their 600cc Ninja ZX-6R powered
Attempting to give Kawasaki their first ever sidecar TT win, Molyneux posted the only 113mph (181 Kph) average practice lap and, this gauntlet thrown, proceeded to dominate the three lap race itself leading from start to finish.
In the Superbike race held the same day burgeoning TT talent, James Hillier, guided his Pri1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R to an impressive seventh place posting a 124.5 mph (200 Kph) average lap on his way to the chequered flag. The 26 year old rider was in the top ten again on Monday 4 June, this time moving up to fifth place on his Ninja ZX-6R in the first of two Supersport races just ahead of fellow Kawasaki rider, the highly experienced Ian Lougher on his ILR Kawasaki. The eagerly anticipated Superstock race held on the same day added to the podium tally for Kawasaki riders with a much deserved second and third places respectively for highly respected Irish riders, Michael Dunlop and Ryan Farquhar on their Ninja ZX-10R machines. Second for a time, Farquhar had to give best to the hard charging Dunlop in the later stages of the race but was nevertheless delighted to gain another TT podium in what is a long and illustrious road racing career.
Speaking after the race, Farquhar said: “To get a podium in the Superstock race is like a dream come true and although it's a shame I couldn't hold onto second, I'm still over the moon with the result.” For sidecar race two the pressure was almost unbearable for Molyneux who also designed and built the chassis and bodywork of his DMR machine. Riding under new rules which dictate that the engine used is very nearly standard, the Manxman proved his choice of Ninja ZX-6R motive power with his and Kawasaki’s second win of the week.
Commenting after the race, a delighted Molyneux said: “This engine is straight out of a road bike! Its testament to Kawasaki, it’s an amazing engine”. The podium beckoned again as the second and final Supersport race of the week took place. Posting a lap timed at over 122mph (196.34 Kph) during the three lap event, Farquhar guided his Ninja ZX-6R to third spot two places ahead of TT legend John McGuinness.
A surprised Ryan said: "I certainly wasn't expecting a podium in the Supersport class at this year's TT so be sitting here now in third place is absolutely brilliant. The race was going well and I would certainly have been happy with fifth but I could see from my signals that it was close between Bruce, John and myself so I kept pushing as hard as I could”.
With changeable weather interrupting the schedule, racing was delayed by rain until Saturday 9 June. The atmospheric conditions did their best to stymie the last two scheduled events as well and, finally, with the Senior race cancelled for the first time in over 100 years, the culmination of TT week was the Lightweight race.
With an overwhelming number of the field selecting the Kawasaki ER-6f as their machine of choice for thethree lap event, the pressure was on the most successful exponents of this class of racing, Ryan Farquhar.
Fielding no less than three of his KMR racing machines in the field, Farquhar admitted to considerable nerves before the race started but soon calmed as the flag dropped and he left the grandstand area to hurtle down Bray Hill for the first of three laps.
Choosing to pit for fuel at the end of lap one, the canny Irishman saw the chasing Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki ER-6f of James Hillier flash past as he replenished his tank. Gradually reeling the talented young rider in, Ryan ended the third lap nearly half a minute ahead of Hiller to claim the third TT win of his career.
Joining Farquhar and Hillier on the podium was another TT legend, Michael Rutter. Winner of the TT Zero Emissions race for electric powered machines earlier in the week, Rutter’s success meant two KMR machines in the top three and a newcomer’s award for the third team rider, Jamie Hamilton who posted a highly respectable tenth place.
Farquhar said upon finishing: “I’ve worked so hard for this and am absolutely over the moon to have won the race. I was pretty nervous before the race as a lot of people were saying I was the clear favourite whilst I was also putting myself under a fair bit of pressure so to actually get the win is superb. I'd also like to say a big thank you to Kawasaki who continue to be 100% behind me”.
Second place Hillier commented:
“I’ve been building up year on year so to get a podium is like a dream come true. I’ve been getting faster and my results have been improving and this just rounds off a brilliant week for me. I was getting a bit emotional over the last few miles when the reality of getting a podium began to sink in but I kept it going until the end and brought the bike home.”
Battling over the 37 ¾ mile (60.75 Km) closed public road circuit, Kawasaki riders raced to success. Summarising the 2012 Isle of Man TT results, Racing Coordinator for Kawasaki Motors UK, Ross Burridge was fulsome in this praise for the competitors, their teams and machinery. “Of course we came to the TT with high hopes and expectations. With such professional teams taking part, and a who’s who of the top road racers in the world choosing Kawasaki machinery, there was a mood of restrained optimism during practice week. Dave Molyneux certainly set the tone with his dominant win in the first race of the week.
With so many races now based on machines that are stock or near stock, the whole essence of the
Tourist Trophy has once more returned to its roots with a strong connection between machines raced and the motorcycles that the fans ride themselves. It’s all the more satisfying then to do so well in the
Superstock event and to enjoy such dominance in the final race of the week, the Lightweight TT, with sixteen of the top twenty finishers Kawasaki mounted.
It’s been such a memorable week with eight podium places and three TT wins. Everyone at Kawasaki would like to offer their sincere thanks and hearty congratulations to all those Kawasaki teams and riders that achieved such outstanding success in what is considered to be the ultimate two wheeled road racing event in the world.”