Former Irish Superbike champion Brian McCormack has been has been thrown a lifeline by KMR Kawasaki boss Ryan Farquhar weeks before the 2013 motorcycle season engages gear.
The 29-year-old Waterford rider and reigning Adelaide Masters title-holder had been left out in the cold after parting company from Chris Dowd’s team.
However, his fortunes changed following an impromptu meeting with roads star Farquhar at the annual Adelaide Motorcycle Awards in Belfast in January, when the seeds of a potential deal were sown.
McCormack will ride Kawasaki ZX-10R Superbike and Superstock machinery in the new-look red and white Vauxhall KMR Kawasaki livery at the North West 200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix.
He will also compete in selected national road races, starting with the traditional curtain-raiser at Cookstown in April.
It’s an opportunity McCormack has pledged to make count as he attempts to raise his game on the roads this season.
“I’m delighted to be joining Ryan and his team and it’s a tremendous opportunity for me, one I intend to firmly grasp with both hands,” he said.
“I know how hard Ryan works and how meticulous he is in his preparation so I’m thrilled to be getting the chance to ride the bikes he’s won so much on.
“This will be my third full season on the roads and with Ryan’s knowledge, expertise, advice and machinery, I’m confident of improving even further and moving up the leaderboard considerably.”
Farquhar retired from road racing in August last year following the death of his uncle, Trevor Ferguson, in a crash at the Manx Grand Prix.
He has ploughed his energy into running his own outfit this year, securing significant backing from Vauxhall’s Northern Ireland dealers.
His deal with McCormack boosts his confirmed number of riders to four along with young guns Jamie Hamilton and recent additions Connor Behan and James Cowton.
Lee Johnston had been due to ride for Farquhar in the Supertwin class at the North West 200, but the deal was shelved, with Johnston’s team preferring the Fermanagh man to concentrate on riding the Ducati Panigale 1199R.
Jeremy McWilliams and Michael Rutter, who finished on the rostrum on Farquhar’s KMR machines in the Supertwin race at the North West in 2012, are in line to join the team again for the international meeting on the North Coast in May.