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Page last updated at 11:15 GMT, Saturday, 6 June 2009 12:15 UK

A family affair

By Richard Petrie

Ryan Farquhar and wife Karen
Ryan Farquhar with wife Karen at the Irish Racer Awards

The Isle of Man TT is an annual family affair for the Farquhar family.

While top Irish rider Ryan battles for supremacy on the track with the best road racers in the world, his biggest fans, wife Karen and daughters Keeley and Mya, are on hand to lend support to their husband and dad.

Four-year-old Keeley took centre stage last year as she helped her dad collect the trophies he won in taking five top-six finishes on the island - and she hopes to cheer him on to further success this time round.

Mya, the latest addition to the Farquhar family, arrived two weeks after the 2009 TT, but has already sampled the atmosphere at several of Ireland's top races.

This year the Dungannon rider is competing under the banner of 'KMR Kawasaki Racing', combining the names of his two daughters to form the name of his race team.

"I have a lot of different sponsors to accommodate so it seemed the natural thing to name the team after my daughters," said Farquhar.

"The family have always come to the races so they know nothing else really.

"Karen has been attending race events since before we were married, and now the kids come along too.

"They are very supportive and I like having them round me.

"I am here for about two and a half weeks and they came over on Thursday of practice week - it's important to have them in the background.

"They're used to me working on the bikes at home too so the sound of engines and the whole thing of being around bikes has become second nature."

RyaFarquhar and daughter Keeley
Ryan Farquhar at the Isle of Man TT with daughter Keeley

The 33-year-old looked likely to miss last year's Bush races, near his hometown, as the Farquhars' second daughter was due to be born on or near the date of the races.

"As it turned out, Mya was born on the Tuesday before the Bush race, just 10 days after the TT, so I was able to compete at my home race and I enjoyed a successful season after that."

This year, Farquhar again campaigns Kawasaki machinery on the Isle of Man and he produced steady, if not spectacular, performances in practice.

"I rode the Alf's Kawasaki Superbike for the first time in the opening practice session and, after making a few changes, I have gradually got to grips with it, and put in a speed over 126mph.

"I am also in and around the top 10 in the times for the Superstock and Supersport classes, so hopefully I can get some good results."

A new points-based Championship format has been instituted at this year's TT, with the overall winner collecting £10,000 and the Joey Dunlop Memorial Trophy, a move Farquhar welcomes.

"I think it's a good idea as it gives those riders a chance who achieve consistent results all week, not just those who have won races and collected the main prize money.

"Cameron Donald would have won it last year and I would have been equal second with John McGuinness after I finished in the top six in all five races."

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see also
McCallen's view
04 Jun 09 |  Motorsport
Team talk
31 May 09 |  Motorsport
Farquhar handed TT Kawasaki ride
16 Feb 09 |  MotoGP

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