Northern Ireland’s Keith Farmer has told News Letter Sport he won’t give up on his British Superbike dream after the Clogher man was replaced in Paul Bird’s Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team by Japanese star Noriyuki Haga.
Farmer, who won the National Superstock 1000 title for Bird’s outfit in 2012, will sit out the remainder of the season after veteran racer Haga was drafted into Cumbrian entrepreneur Bird’s team alongside championship leader Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne.
Ex-Irish Supermoto champion Farmer has endured a baptism of fire in his rookie season in BSB, with a string of crashes denting his confidence and inflicting a series of troublesome injuries.
The 26-year-old has also been struck down by a mystery virus and is now focusing on regaining his fitness and building his confidence before targeting a return to the premier class in 2014.
Farmer revealed he has attempted to make contact with team owner Bird without success and only learned he had lost his place in the team to Haga via social networking outlet Twitter.
“I appreciate all that Paul Bird has done for me and if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have got as far as I have,” Farmer said.
“I haven’t been told by Paul yet that I’ve been sacked, I’ve just heard it from other people and I found out that Nori Haga was taking my place on Twitter. I’m slightly annoyed that he didn’t have the decency to tell me.
“I understand that I’ve been crashing his bikes and if I was him I’d probably make the same decision, but if I was sacking someone I’d tell them.
“I sent him a nice email thanking him for everything but I haven’t heard a thing from him,” added Farmer.
“But this will make me stronger and I’ll stay positive. I certainly haven’t disgraced myself in BSB this year and I know I can run in the top five or six when I get my head right.”
Farmer, who only began short circuit racing in 2010 after a successful Supermoto career, feels he set himself unrealistic goals in his debut year in BSB after a whirlwind two-year spell from 2011-2012, when he won the National Superstock 600 and National Superstock 1000 titles in consecutive seasons.
“I’d been winning everything and when I came to BSB I set my expectations too high,” he said. “I was putting myself under too much stress but there was a lot of pressure to do well in the team and once I started crashing, my confidence went.
“I was riding around thinking ‘if I crash again I’ll lose my job’ and it wasn’t a good place to be. My head hasn’t been right for the last few rounds and I need to get myself sorted for next year.
“I want to stay in BSB, I’ve offers on the table and I still have to talk to some other teams yet as well.”
An official statement released by PBM confirmed Haga would contest the final three BSB rounds, but made no mention of Farmer.