We have all seen the tremendously exciting footage of the brave riders hurtling around the TT road course on the Isle of Man in June each year. Reaching average lap speeds well in excess of 100 mph.Barry ‘Baz’ Furber has just completed his third TT season and had a very lucky escape as he tumbled from his bike in the 600 Supersport race on the second lap.Barry lost front wheel grip on a bend and parted company with his bike at 120mph, sliding down the road for over 100 metres before ending up in a ditch.
Fortunately Barry’s helmet, boots and leathers saved him from serious injury although his ankles were badly bruised making the rest of the week’s residing painful and uncomfortable.Spectators were on the scene and, despite Barry’s assurances, the paramedics called for the Air Ambulance and he was whisked away to the hospital to be X-rayed and checked out.
Barry is not one to give up lightly and he was soon back competing on his 1000cc bike in the Senior TT which was over 6 laps ridden in pain. So the 2019 TT series was not a success for Barry but like goes on and he regrouped and set about rebuilding a 600 cc bike for the rest of the season.
He entered the Southern 100 race on the south of the Isle Of Man on a bike built from two 600’s in the space of 3 weeks before the event and managed to qualify into the main A Race, but his fitness proved troublesome and he did not do as well as he should have as time needs to be spent on the bike adjusting and tuning, setting the suspension etc.
The 600 was prepared for the Ulster Grand Prix meeting in Belfast from the 7th to the 10th August.It was the last big international road race of the year and Barry entered the 600 Supersport and his 1000cc Kawazaki ZX10 into the races.
The Ulster course is over 6 miles with a mass start of around 40 bikes.Speeds of 200mph are achieved going into the first corner.Last year Barry has a top 10 finish in the 600 Lightweight Class.
Barry recalls: “I had a great Ulster Grand Prix despite some bad luck and terrible weather. Practice on Wednesday went well and I gradually picked up the pace as I learnt the circuit. Thursday afternoon I had a good Superbike race with a best lap of 123.5mph average speed and I finished a respectable 29th. The Supersport race didn't go to plan, I had to pull out when the bike overheated, we later discovered a stone had gone through the radiator like a bullet and the engine was ruined. So for the main races on Saturday I only had the Kawasaki zx10r.
“The first race was very wet and it was difficult to even see where you were going at 180mph, a tough race for everyone and I was pleased to ring it home in 20th position.
“The big 7 lap Superbike race I started mid pack in the second wave, got a good start and made up a few places on the opening lap to lead the pack for the rest of the race finishing 14th overall and really pleased with my performance.
“The last Superbike race of the day was in drying conditions and I went out on intermediate tyres, I started well and was up to 6th at one point however as the track dried out I struggled to keep the pace with the bike moving around a lot on very hot tyres. I finished 18th overall and came away with a big smile looking forward to next year. Thank you to all the team who do the hard work behind the scenes and my sponsors.”