Irish Supersport and Supertwin champion Jamie Hamilton has placed an international victory at the Vauxhall North West 200 at the top of his 2014 wish list.
Hamilton parted company from Ryan Farquhar’s KMR Kawasaki team in an amicable split following two successful seasons under the Irish road racing star’s stewardship to pursue a new challenge this year.
The Ballyclare prospect had been in talks with British championship outfit Tsingtao WK Bikes, but the deal never materialised and the 22-year-old was forced to explore alternative avenues.
However, Hamilton has now confirmed he will ride Stewart Smith’s Kawasaki ER6 Supertwin plus John Duggan’s Kawasaki ZX-6R Supersport machine, which he rode to the Irish title in 2013 in Farquhar’s KMR colours.
The former British Superstock 600 champion has yet to acquire a Superbike for the new season, but for now Hamilton is satisfied with his machinery as he prepares to up the ante in pursuit of a coveted roads triumph on the international stage this year.
“Whenever I left Ryan I got an offer from a team in England to compete in all classes but in the end it never came off for one reason and another,” Hamilton told the News Letter.
“When push came to shove the deal didn’t turn out to be what it had seemed.
“Basically I had to go and start looking for other bikes again.
“I’m in the lucky position now where I have another Supertwin 650 that I know is capable of winning races. I thought I’d be giving that chance up in the Supertwin class because I’d have had to ride the WK Bikes Supertwin machine if the other deal came off, but the way it’s worked out in the end it’s great to be on another competitive Supertwin because I know I’ll be fast on it.
“The bike I have was on the TT podium last year [with Dean Harrison] and I saw how fast it was as well when Dean won at the Southern 100. I know I’ll be very competitive on the bike at the North West 200,” added Hamilton, who earned the prestigious accolade of ‘Best Newcomer’ at the Isle of Man TT in 2012.
“Last year at the North West I finished on the rostrum but the way I’m looking at it now, I want to do better than that. I’m looking more towards the internationals this year because I managed to get on the podium last year in all the big races except at the Isle of Man TT.
“I want to try and get a few podiums on the bike and maybe try and get a few wins at the internationals as well.”
Assessing his chances of securing a Superbike to complete his stable of machinery, Hamilton remains optimistic of his prospects of tying up a deal for the premier class.
“I haven’t anything sorted in terms of a Superbike but I’m confident that something will come up. I can pick and choose whatever comes up so we’ll see what offers come through,” he said.
“I’m not worrying too much about it just yet because I have two very competitive bikes and the way I see it, there are a few seats left out there for a Superbike ride at the moment.”