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Jun 27, 2011

More From This Past Weekend's Various Races

Ben and Tom Birchall (16) leads Pekka Paivarinta and Adolf Hanni (1). Photo by Mark "Wally" Walters, courtesy of the Birchall Brothers Racing.

The long journey to Rijeka in Croatia resulted in Ben and Tom Birchall scoring a brace of podiums in their two races in round two of the FIM World Sidecar championship which see them move up to third place behind series leaders and current world champions Pekka Paivarinta and Adolf Hanni who won both races this weekend.

Following their huge crash in the first round of the series at Schleiz in Germany it was a race against time to have the outfit up and running ahead of the Croatia race. There was little time available to the Mitchells of Mansfield supported team as they took two weeks out to contest the Isle of Man TT races, returning to the mainland just a few days before they were due to set off to Croatia. But the Ben and Tom took advantage of the time available to them and had the LCR Yamaha prepared in the nick of time.

Qualifying went well for the Mansfield pair who set pole with a best time of 1m 32.9mph and they lined up on Saturday at the head of the grid for the start of the 10 lap sprint race and as the lights went out it was the Birchalls that got the hole shot into turn one.

They were swiftly followed by Paivarinta/Hanni and Reeves/Cluze and the trio pulled well clear of the field. Positions were exchanged between Birchall and Paivarinta throughout the race but it was the Flying Finn who took top honours at the flag followed by Reeves who squeezed past Birchall to take second just a fraction of a second ahead of Ben and Tom.

The 18-lap Gold race took place on Sunday and again there was a battle for supremacy between Paivarinta and Birchall that lasted throughout the race and once again it was Paivarinta that took the victory less than a second ahead of Birchall. Hock/Becker crossed the finish line some 22 seconds adrift for third place.

This set of results promotes Ben and Tom up into third place in the overall rider standings on 61 points just 1 point behind Hock/Becker.

The next round is at Sachsenring in Germany as a support race to MotoGP on July 17 but prior to that Ben and Tom return to British action at the fourth round of the British championship that takes place at Snetterton in Norfolk over the weekend of July 9/10.

More, from a press release issued by Ryan Farquhar's publicist:

Fantastic five for Farquhar at Bush

Ryan Farquhar made his return to racing in the best possible style when he dominated the Bush Road Races on Saturday winning all five races he entered. Still recovering from the injuries sustained at the Isle of Man TT, the KMR Kawasaki rider was in imperious form around his home circuit and took victories in the Open, Grand Final, Supersport, Supertwins and 450cc events as well as setting 4 new lap records!

After practice was hit by heavy rain, race day began with cloudy, damp conditions around the 3.3-mile circuit and Ryan opened his account with a commanding victory in the 450cc race, leading from start to finish and coming home 27 seconds clear of Seamus Elliott, also setting a new lap record in the process. It was a similar story in the Supertwins race, a new lap record of 84.666mph heading his way along with a comfortable 18.6s winning margin over fellow Kawasaki rider John Burrows.

An oil spill in another race meant there was a lengthy delay but when racing resumed, conditions were a lot better and although it was close in the early stages of the Supersport race, Ryan soon saw off the challenge of Michael Dunlop and gradually pulled away over the course of the shortened 4-lap race, eventually winning by 6.5s. He also notched up a new lap record at 89.101mph. Using the same 600cc ZX-6R Kawasaki for the Open event, Ryan's biggest challenger was again Dunlop, who was out on his Superstock bike, but Ryan again had the upper hand and led his rival home by over six seconds for his fourth win of the day.

The final event was the Grand Final and it was once more Ryan and Dunlop who battled it out for the win, the latter on his Supersport machine this time. On this occasion, it was nip and tuck all the way and Ryan had to work extremely hard but, aided by a new outright lap record of 90.763mph, he was able to get the verdict by 0.547s at the end of the six, high-speed laps to complete a terrific five-timer.

Speaking afterwards, a delighted Ryan said; "Today's been spot-on and, to be honest, it's gone a lot better than I thought it would have done. I've been resting up since the TT but my back was still a bit sore and when I saw the rain and mud on the Friday evening I decided to leave the big ZX-10 in the truck and just concentrate on the smaller bikes. The first race was the hardest in terms of my back and ribs but you're always a bit stiff when you've been off the bike for a couple of weeks so once I loosened up a bit and the adrenalin kicked in, it was a lot better. Everything went well in the races and to lead them all from start to finish and take a few lap records along the way was brilliant."

"The Grand Final was very difficult though as Michael was riding really well and pushing me hard so I had to ride the wheels off the bike to keep him at bay but luckily I did and it completed a really good day for me. Obviously, conditions were tricky with the rain and mud spilling onto the circuits from the fields but the Clerk of the Course made all the right decisions, particularly delaying the racing whilst the oil spillage was cleaned up and it all worked out for the best. I'm now taking a bit of a break from the Irish scene and am taking the family away for a few weeks holiday but I'll still be racing at the two Scarborough meetings that are coming up along with the Southern 100 so July's still going to be a busy month for me."

Indeed, Ryan's next event will be the Barry Sheene Classic Road Races that take place at Oliver's Mount, Scarborough on Sunday July 3rd.
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