Farmer announces retirement with immediate effect
Phil wain |
Image: Impact images
Quadruple Supersport and Superstock champion Keith Farmer has announced his retirement from racing with immediate effect.
The County Tyrone rider had a rough year with the downturn from his original Superstock squad and as he set out to end the season with the BMW iForce team Lloyd and Jones, a series of crashes at Silverstone this weekend led him to make the decision to retire. .
The 34-year-old has always intended to hang up his leathers at the end of the 2021 season and he is leaving after enjoying a successful decade in the sport, excelling on the tarmac as he had previously done in Supermoto.
“I’ve had a tough year, but it’s just racing,” Farmer said. “I stepped in to end the year for PR Racing BMW, but after two relatively big crashes, one taking out Takumi Takahashi, which I’m sorry about, and the other crashing into pieces, I realized that it was time to go.
“It’s never easy to just pack up and go, but at the end of this year I had always planned to retire from the race.”
The “Clogher Bullet” won the Superstock 600 title in 2011 with its own team, which brought it to the attention of BSB team owner Paul Bird, who lent his support to the following 2012 season when Farmer has upgraded to the Superstock 1000 series.
Farmer restored his confidence and further demonstrated his potential as five wins over the Kawasaki Rapid Solicitors helped him beat Jason O’Halloran’s official entry to Honda by an impressive 50 points.
A promotion to Bird’s BSB team followed in 2013, but despite form glimpses, fourth at Knockhill climax, the duo parted ways two-thirds of the season, with Farmer being replaced by Noriyuki Haga.
A move to the PR Racing team was made for 2014 and although the results were difficult to come by, it was this season that he recorded his only BSB podium, third behind Josh Waters and Richard Cooper at Brands Hatch .
Farmer then put emphasis on his versatility by winning the British Supersport Championship in 2017, late replacing injured Luke Jones at Appleyard Macadam Yamaha.
Nine victories were achieved during the season and he was rewarded in 2018 with a lap with the TAS Racing Northern Ireland team. Contesting once again the Superstock 1000 series, Farmer won his second title in the category, this time in the BMW S1000RR.
He stayed with the team in 2019 and returned to the BSB Series, but after finishing six times in the top ten in the first four innings, he crashed in qualifying at Knockhill with two broken legs, ending in his season in pain.
Back in good shape for the delayed 2020 season, Farmer lined up with Buildbase Suzuki, but bad luck hit him again as an accident during qualifying in the first round at Donington Park resulted in an injury to the arm that seriously affected his season.
Reflecting on his trophy-rich career, Farmer, who is now based in Penrith, said he felt extremely lucky to have won four British titles after riding for some of the top teams in the paddock.
“I had a good 10 years of racing in the BSB paddock for some of the top teams with great opportunities, some worked and some didn’t. I consider myself extremely lucky to have had these opportunities and with them I have won four British titles. “
“I want to thank everyone who has supported me in any way, especially my family who have been behind me every step of the way, good and bad. I couldn’t have done this without any of you.