Road race star Furber plotting more podiums in 2020 – shropshirestar.com

Road racer Barry Furber has had plenty to look back on and also plenty to be excited about as he heads into 2020.

Furber began his 2019 campaign warming up on the circuits at the likes of Anglesey and Mallory Park, preparing his three bikes for another assault on some of the toughest races going.

As well as heading to TT, the Bishop’s Castle bullet also returned Southern 100, raced on the Isle of Man, the Ulster GP in Northern Ireland and Oliver’s Mount in Scarborough.

And despite having to deal with crashes, including one he admitted he was lucky to walk away from during the opening Supersport TT, he still had plenty to smile about come the end of the campaign.

Furber also had to tackle tough conditions on the circuits. Picture: Steve Snelling

Following some good results at the Tonfanau championship, Further headed to the Isle of Man in June full confidence ready to compete in superbike, superstock, supersport and supertwin classes.

But it all began going wrong when his 600cc broke down during and then his 1000cc Kawasaki got a puncture during practice week – before the rain plagued the entire race fortnight.

During the first superbike race, Furber suffered yet more bad luck as, approaching the Goosneck on the opening lap, he suffered a fuel pump problem on his Kawasaki ZX10R.

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But it was the crash on his 600cc Kawasaki that reminded him and his fans how dangerous road racing can really be.

Furber heading down the Creg at the TT. Picture: ottpix@btinternet.com

“On the second lap, approaching the 11th Milestone, I was probably doing about 120-130mph, and it’s a really fast right-left flick, when the front end just gave way,” he said.

“I don’t really know why, perhaps it was a lack of set up, but I just remember flying towards the kerb.

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“I lost consciousness, bounced off the wall and ended up in a ditch on the other side of the road. I came round and the first thing I remembered was nothing really hurt too badly and I could move all limbs, so I knew it wasn’t too bad.

“I was very lucky because not many people crash there and walk away relatively unscathed. Most don’t walk away at all.

Furber enjoying a rare moment of sunshine on the Isle of Man in 2029. Picture: ottpix@btinternet.com

However, the 34-year-old bravely battled on and, despie being battered and bruised, was still able to come away with a bronze replica trophy, as well as continuing to lap the 37.73-mile circuit at an average speed of 120mph during the final six-lap Senior TT.

And yet Furber was hit with yet more bad luck during the Southern 100 a few weeks later when a collision with fellow Shropshire road racer Alun Brooks, from Welshpool, ended prematurely ended his week of racing before he headed to the Ulster GP in August, where his luck finally began to change.

“I had a great Ulster Grand Prix despite some terrible weather,” he said. “Practice on Wednesday went well and gradually picked up the pace as I learnt the circuit.”

Furber opened his account in the opening superbike with a best average lap speed of 123.5mph around the 7.4-mile Dundrod circuit, finishing a respectable 29th.

“The supersport race didn’t go to plan as I had to pull out when the bike overheated,” added Furber.

“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.”

Furber performed well and the roads once again

“The first race was very wet and it was difficult to see where I was going, while hitting speeds of 180mph.

“It was a tough race for everyone and I was pleased to bring it home in 20th position.”

For the final seven-lap superbike race, Furber started mid pack in the second wave and, after getting a good start, made up a few places, eventually finishing 14th overall.

“I was really pleased with my performance and thankfully the last superbike race of the day was in drying conditions,” he said.

“I went out on intermediate tyres and after starting well and was up to sixth 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 and came away with a big smile – I’m already looking forward to next year.

“Big thanks goes to all the team who do the hard work behind the scenes and my sponsors, especially DC Auto Repairs Newtown Ltd.”

Furber claimed a superb podium at Oliver’s Mount. Picture: ottpix@btinternet.com

After finally finishing a road race on a high, Furber then headed to Oliver’s Mount for season finale – the Gold Cup.

Tens of thousands of race fans made the pilgrimage to the north of England for the race, which had been postponed for extra safety measures when competitors crashed through fencing at an event in September 2017, injuring 12 fans.

The accidents showed the dangerous nature of the course but nevertheless the draw of the tight, 2.4-mile circuit enticed Furber to compete once more in September.

And it turned out to be a great decision too as, despite again facing tricky conditions, he rode his Suzuki GSXR750cc – provided by former Manx GP rider Gary Gittins, also from Bishop’s Castle – to fifth and second, as well as finishing 12th in the supersport A-race.

Furber is already plotting his 2020 racing campaign

“It was my fourth time at the track and it was great to back there after 12 months,” he said.

“The track was in a good condition and they had made some safety improvements – thankfully I didn’t notice any of them because that only happens when you crash!

“I then qualified for the main Gold Cup but after the first lap I couldn’t see where I was going again so I just pulled in.

“Over the jumps on the fastest section of the track you can be topping 140mph so when you can’t see where the corner starts it makes sense not to carry on.”

To sponsor Furber during his 2020 campaign, email barrygsi@hotmail.com

Source: shropshirestar.com

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