The BBC Bikes Podcast: “Getting hit by another cyclist probably saved my life” – Farquhar on the North West 200 crash
Northern Ireland road racer Ryan Farquhar explained how the accident in which he suffered chest and pelvic injuries at the North West 200 in 2016 could easily have cost him his life.
The Dungannon driver was involved in a high-speed accident on the Black Hill section of the Triangle circuit during Thursday night’s Supertwins race.
Farquhar collided with Dan Cooper at Black Hill, the same section of the course where English rider Malachi Mitchell-Thomas tragically crashed lost his life in an accident two days later.
“I was hit by another driver in this accident and there’s a good chance it probably saved my life,” Farquhar said. The BBC Bike Podcast.
“Young Malachi Mitchell-Thomas had the same accident on Saturday – he tucked the front in about the same square inch of tarmac as me and he wasn’t hit by another driver. That means he hit the wall harder and unfortunately suffered a fatal injury.
“Because I got hit by another driver who lost speed and knocked me down the road a bit before hitting the wall. Maybe that saved me.”
Being on the North West podium “the best buzz ever”
The 46-year-old, who holds the record for most Irish national road race wins, was initially described as ‘seriously ill’ after the incident and spent time in the unit of intensive care at the Royal Victoria Hospital before beginning a long convalescence. process.
Among his happiest memories of racing in the North West are his five individual victories and his position on the top step of the podium alongside his KMR Kawasaki teammates Jeremy McWilliams and Michael Rutter after a one-two- three for holding the inaugural Supertwins race in 2013.
“Looking back throughout my career, the one thing I’m really proud of is filling the podium at the North West with myself, Jeremy and Michael,” added the three-time Isle of Man TT winner.
“It doesn’t get better than that – on bikes that I had built and tuned and having us all up there first, second and third.
“I’ve raced every road race in the world, won the Isle of Man TT and the Ulster Grand Prix, but if you get to the top step of the podium at the North West 200 on a nice day sunny, it’s the best buzz ever with all the crowds and the vibe.
“It’s very very special and the hairs are standing on the back of my neck even thinking about it now.
“I kept going to the North West to support a few riders and invest my own money, building my own bikes, purely because of my passion for the sport.
“Even though it always makes me nervous when the riders are out there, I still have a real love for road racing.”
“If people don’t contribute, there will be no North West 200”
This year, the North West 200 returns to the international road racing calendar for the first time since 2019 after an enforced hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Phillip McCallen, who won 11 races over a seven-year span between 1991 and 1997, including a record five in a single day in 1992, told the podcast the event’s future depends heavily on support increased financial support from those who attend an event.
“If you go to Windsor Park or a round of British Superbikes you don’t go there for nothing, but there are a lot of people who go to the North West and don’t buy a program, don’t contribute anything from the everything,” McCallen explained. .
“I hope these people start realizing ‘we’re going to lose this’. Unless they start contributing, there won’t be a North West 200.”
Click on here to listen to the BBC Bikes podcast with Ryan Farquhar and Phillip McCallen