Keith Farmer believes he is back on the right track after finalising a deal to compete for Liverpool outfit PR Kawasaki in the MCE British Superbike Championship in 2014.
The Clogher man is determined to put a disappointing debut year behind him last season, when he rode alongside BSB frontrunner Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne in Cumbrian Paul Bird’s Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team.
After a positive start to his maiden year in the class, Farmer’s fortunes took a turn for the worst and his confidence suffered a battering following a series of crashes.
He was also struck down by an energy-sapping virus and eventually Bird replaced the Ulster prospect with Japanese World Superbike legend Noriyuki Haga for the final three rounds of the Showdown stage of the championship.
It was the beginning of the end for Farmer in Bird’s team, but the 26-year-old finally secured a return to the class this year and is eager to reproduce the form that carried him to a brace of British titles in consecutive seasons in the National Superstock 600 and 1000 classes respectively in 2011 and 2012.
“It’s a weight off my shoulders to have everything finally sorted out again,” Farmer told the News Letter.
“I’d been waiting on a number of teams to get back to me over the winter and to be fair the only one who really did get back to me to let me know where I stood was Philip Neill and Tyco Suzuki.
“Philip was keen to have me on board this year but I wasn’t what the team’s sponsors wanted, though at least he had the decency to fill me in and who knows, maybe something will come of it in the future,” added Farmer.
“But the opportunity then came up with PR Kawasaki and it suits me down to the ground. I’m back on a Kawasaki again and the bike isn’t too different from what I rode for Bird last year.
“I won the Superstock title on a Kawasaki and then I made my debut on the ZX-10R last season in BSB, so I’m familiar with the bike and it should be a benefit to me being with the same manufacturer again.
“There’s no pressure on me and we both feel the same about our approach this year - we’re not setting any massive goals and we’ll just look at each race as it comes.” Farmer will have the opportunity to ride the PR Kawasaki for the first time at the annual Pro-Test at Cartagena in Spain next month, which is organised by former Norton and Honda Britain team boss Barry Symmons, and takes place from March 6-9.
The test has attracted entries from a host of top teams, including Milwaukee Yamaha, Mar-Train Racing, Millsport Ducati and Tyco Suzuki.
The opening BSB round is at Brands Hatch on April 21.