Keith Farmer will move up to the British Superbike Championship in 2013 after being rewarded with a ride in Paul Bird’s Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team alongside reigning champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne.
The 24-year-old from Clogher won the Metzeler National Superstock 1000 title for Bird this season to earn a chance at the big time next year, when he’ll be aiming to continue his incredible run of success at British championship level.
Farmer’s rise through the ranks has been sensational, with the former Irish Supermoto champion lifting the National Superstock 600 crown during his first full season in the British championship in 2011.
He proved it was no fluke as he collected his second title in the 1000cc class, rewarding Bird in the best way possible after the Cumbrian businessman took the young Ulsterman under his wing.
Farmer had the chance to sample the ZX-10 Superbike at Oulton Park this year when he stood in for the injured Stuart Easton.
And 2013 can’t come quick enough for the Co Tyrone man, who impressed during qualifying before bagging a respectable top 20 finish on his BSB debut.
Farmer said: “I don’t know how to put into words how happy I am to be riding for the Paul Bird Motorsport Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki Team on a Superbike next year.
“I thought last year was a big year for me but it keeps getting bigger and better.
“I am also very pleased that ‘Shakey’ is my team-mate as he helped me a lot this year.
“I can’t thank Paul and the rest of the team enough,” added Farmer.
“He said from the end of last season that he would look after me and yet again he has stuck to his word and put me on Superbike.
“All I can do to show him my appreciation is to get up front with the reigning British Superbike champion as that’s how we roll.”
Byrne, who has won the BSB title three times, opted to remain in the series to defend his crown after turning down the chance to lead Bird’s MotoGP effort.