Saturday 22 October 2016

Racer Ryan Farquhar seriously ill after North West 200 crash with Dan Cooper

Published 13/05/2016 | 10:51

Stock image: Ryan Farquhar
Stock image: Ryan Farquhar

Ryan Farquhar is seriously ill in hospital following a crash with fellow racer Dan Cooper at the North West 200.

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The pair had a coming together Vauxhall Supertwin race on Thursday night.

Farquhar and pole man Cooper were battling it out when suddenly on lap three Farquhar crashed, exiting the fast right hander at the Dhu Varren section of the course and Cooper in his slipstream ploughed into the Dungannon rider's fallen machine and was catapulted over the bars.

Farquhar (40) was caught between the two machines as he tumbled into the air bags while Cooper was thrown clear, bouncing up the road and footpath towards Black Hill.

James Hillier and Ivan Lintin managed to avoid the carnage and visibly slowed, expecting to see the red flag.

The race was stopped and the Air Ambulance dispatched to attend to the fallen riders.

In a statement following the incident organisers said that neither rider suffered life threatening injuries with Cooper and Farquhar both taken to hospital, the latter talking to the medical team on site.

It later emerged that Cooper had two suspected dislocated shoulders while Farquhar suffered a suspected pelvic injury and possible rib injuries.

On Friday morning, the Belfast Trust said that the Farquhar was seriously ill after suffering chest and pelvic injuries.

Both had expressed concerns prior to the race, Cooper saying "the sun is pretty bad and getting lower," while Farquhar pointed out he could not see the starting lights.

Neither issue is thought to have had an influence on the crash.

The first four riders to complete lap three were Lintin, Hillier, Farquhar's team mate Jeremy McWilliams and Martin Jessopp.

The remaining riders were credited with two laps, Malachi Mitchell-Thomas fifth and Michael Sweeney sixth.

Farquhar had announced his retirement from racing in 2012, but returned to win the opening Supertwin race last year and finish runner-up in the second behind McWilliams.

Farquhar has been one of the most successful road racers Ulster has ever produced, topping the Dukes Rankings four times and setting the record 201 Irish national wins.

The remaining Superstock race was cancelled and will be run as the first race of tomorrow's programme.

Earlier the race was stopped due to a huge fire at Station Corner with smoke billowing into the air visible from the start and finish.

This was a non-racing incident with flames shooting skywards beside the railway line.

The fire service dealt with the incident and the race was re-started over full distance.

Earlier in the day Nico Mawhinney from Castledawson crashed at the Mill Road roundabout.

He was transported to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast by air ambulance. His injuries were described as not life-threatening.

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