Former National Superstock 1000 champion Keith Farmer will return to the class in 2016 after joining Quay Garage Racing to ride a Honda Fireblade.
The team will run Clogher man Farmer in association with Honda Racing UK as the 29-year-old aims to put his career back on track after winning back to back British titles in the Superstock 600 and Superstock 1000 championships in 2011 and 2012.
Farmer’s ’Stock 1000 title success on Paul Bird’s Kawasaki earned him a ride in the team alongside Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne in 2013, but things didn’t quite work out for the affable Ulsterman, whose career stalled as a result.
However, the double British champion - who had been without a ride since parting company from PR Kawasaki in 2014 - replaced the injured Luke Jones in the Tsingtao MV Agusta team last season in the British Supersport series and earned some solid results.
A rejuvenated Farmer is now aiming to challenge for the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 title with the Devon-based team this year, when his opposition includes reigning champion Josh Elliott on the Tyco BMW.
“I already feel very much at home with the team, and I can’t wait to get on the Fireblade to start testing,” Farmer said.
“I’ll be giving it my best shot this year but I am also hugely encouraged by the fact that the team see this as a long-term partnership.”
Team owner Ian Woollacott said he believes Farmer has a ‘realistic chance’ of delivering the title in 2016.
“I am delighted to be returning to the paddock having had a year away, and I am particularly pleased to renew our association with Honda,” he said.
“I feel that with Keith we have a realistic chance of winning the title this year, but we both see this as a long term project to be able to showcase Keith’s talent over the next few years.”
Havier Beltran, Honda Racing team manager, added: “It will be great to see Ian and the team back in the paddock this year and we look forward to working alongside them again providing technical support. “Keith is a talented rider and we’re all looking forward to seeing what he can do on the Fireblade. Our winter testing programme will start soon, where Ian and the team will join us.”
The opening round will be held at Silverstone on April 10.