Published Friday, 14 September 2012
Dungannon's Ryan Farquhar talks to UTV. (© UTV)
The Dungannon rider has vowed to never race again, after the death just over two weeks ago of Trevor Ferguson - the man he credits with kick-starting his career.
"What happened at the Manx Grand Prix with Trevor, it just changed my life and the whole family's life," Farquhar told UTV.
"Probably what brought it home was how safe a rider Trevor was. In all the years he's been racing, I only remember him crashing twice - in 29 years."
He added: "Through thick and thin, he was always there for me."
Farquhar recalled how he had gone to races with his uncle from the age of just five or six.
"Then the opportunity arose when I was 17 to ride one of Trevor's own bikes. It all started at Aghadowey, March 1993. And really, it just progressed from there," he said.
"My first road race was the Cookstown 100 in 1995 - once I did that, that was me hooked."
If I could wind the clock back, I'd definitely do it all over again.
But, while he has lost a lot of friends over the years, Farquhar told UTV he still loved the sport and that he always would.
"I'm going to miss it big time. There've been a lot of highs and a lot of lows along the way," he said.
He is disappointed not to have the chance to reach some of the personal goals he'd set - his career will end on 199 Irish road racing wins, one away from the 200 marker he'd hoped to reach.
But he had already planned to cut back on racing - to focus on big events like the North West 200, the Isle of Man TT and the Scarborough Gold Cup - and it's in Scarborough that he'll bid farewell.
Recognising the help, sponsorship and support it takes to make a career out of racing, Farquhar said there were a lot of people he had to be grateful to and that he wants the chance to say goodbye.
He's enlisted a few of his fellow racers - including the likes of John McGuinness, Ian Hutchinson and Michael Dunlop - to ride his bikes in a parade lap.
After that, he's unsure what the future holds.
He won't race again, but would like to stay involved in the sport - perhaps supporting a young rider.
"I'm one of the lucky ones to be in a position to call it a day," he added.
© UTV News