Keith Farmer couldn’t have a better mentor in his corner as the Ulster rider prepares to embark on the latest leg of his British championship adventure in 2013.
The Clogher rider has captured the Superstock 600 and 1000 crowns in his first two full seasons on the English circuits and now he’s ready to shake up the British Superbike paddock after earning a shot at the big time on Paul Bird’s Kawasaki ZX-10.
One of the most exciting young talents around, the former Irish Supermoto champion has the added advantage of learning from the best in the business with reigning BSB champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne sharing the team garage next year.
Farmer has already soaked up every pearl of wisdom offered by the super experienced Byrne and used the triple BSB champion’s words of advice to carve a path to the Superstock 1000 title this season.
The 25-year-old says Byrne was instrumental in his success and Farmer intends to draw on his team-mate’s vast well of knowledge as he takes on the challenge of the premier class.
“Throughout this past year ‘Shakey’ has helped me out a great deal,” he told the News Letter.
“He’s been giving me bits and pieces of advice and pointing things out that have helped me improve my riding and if it wasn’t for his help this year I couldn’t even answer where I’d have finished up.
“Hopefully things will stay the same now that I’m his full-time team-mate!
“But he’s always been willing to help and I don’t think it’ll be any different next year,” he added.
Farmer could be forgiven for feeling untouchable after a staggering rise up the British championship ladder these past two years, but the modest Northern Ireland man isn’t talking up his chances of continuing in the same vein as he makes the step up to BSB.
“If you’d asked me three years ago where I’d be in racing I never have imagined I’d be riding in Paul Bird’s British Superbike team,” he said.
“To go from Superstock 600 to Superstock 1000 and then BSB with a top team has taken me by surprise to be honest.
“Next season I’m not sure where I’ll be finishing because there are so many good riders in BSB and it’ll be my first year in the class.
“It’s a great opportunity for me in Paul’s team and while nothing has ever been mentioned for the future, who knows where it might lead.”