Isle of Man TT: Farquhar targets Supertwins success
Ryan Farquhar hopes the hard work he has put in over the winter will result in a fourth TT win in Friday's Lightweight event for Supertwins bikes.
The Dungannon man won the 2012 race but neither he nor his KMR Kawasaki stable featured on the podium last year.
"I've overseen a massive development programme over the winter to make the bikes competitive again," he said.
"It already paid off as I won a race at the North West 200, and Jeremy McWilliams won the other.
"Other teams had overtaken us but we are up there again," Farquhar added.
The 39-year-old has set the fastest practice speed for the race, with his team-mate and compatriot Lee Johnston fractionally slower in the qualifying leaderboard.
"The bike is working well and we definitely have a strong package so it is well capable of winning," he said.
"If I get dialled in from the drop of the flag and have a good pit-stop I should be there or thereabouts.
"It won't be easy though as there are at least six or seven potential winners.
"You need a bit of luck round this place too as everything is stretched to the limit. Another podium, at least, would be great."
Strategy over pit stops could play a part in the race, with riders having the option of refuelling after either their first or second lap.
"I normally pit at the end of the first lap as you can benefit from a flying lap on your final circuit but if conditions are dodgy and there is any chance of the race being red-flagged, then you are better leaving it to the second lap.
"It's not easy when you are running your own team and have so many bikes to prepare. I've struggled a bit with the big bike and getting it to handle the way I would like it to."
The Lightweight class will be followed by the blue riband event of the meeting, the Senior TT, on Friday afternoon.
Ian Hutchinson will aim to make it four wins in a week on his Paul Bird Motorsport Kawasaki, but Bruce Anstey goes for a 'big bike' double on the Padgett's Honda, following his Superbike success on Sunday.
Michael Dunlop will hope he is fit enough to challenge for the victory on his Buildbase BMW while 22-time winner, Honda-mounted John McGuinness, cannot be discounted over six laps.