Keith Farmer will compete in the 2020 British Superbike Championship after signing a deal to contest the series with the factory supported Buildbase Suzuki team.

The Clogher rider announced the new partnership this week, paving the way for his return to the championship after a 2019 season that was cut short by an accident at Knockhill that left him with two fractured legs.

Keith briefly considered his future in the sport after that horrific crash, but quickly decided he wanted to have another crack at the championship.

He believes he now has a team around him that can help him deliver a successful season.

“It’s great to get going again,” said Keith.

“Suzuki have such a passion for the race and I saw that when I went down to meet with them. It’s just brilliant to see. The bike had a couple of wins last year and several podiums this year towards the latter part of the year.

“Brad Ray was riding for them and was inconsistent but the bike seems really good and it’s definitely capable of podiums.

“We will try to keep chipping away in the top ten or top six and if we can consistently finish in the top six and nick a podium here and there I don’t see why we shouldn’t be far away from the showdown at the end of the season.”

With limited seats up for grabs for the season and Keith not able to show his ability in the second half of 2019 he was afraid that he might not be able to secure a ride in Britain’s premier series, but he enlisted the help of Jeremy McWilliams to help him secure a seat.

“We had a couple of deals on board but they fell through and the only thing I had left was a Superstock ride from OMG Racing,” he admitted.

“Then just after the sunflower race at Bishops Court Christian Idden ended up going to sign for PBM after he had originally a deal done with Buildbase.

“As soon as he left it opened a door for me. That is just the way racing works and Jeremy got me a meeting straight away. We talked to them and the job was good.”

Keith’s first taste of his new bike will come next week as he travels to Spain for three days of testing.

It will be his first time on a Superbike since his accident, and although he admits he is uncertain how his injuries will affect him he cannot wait to get back on board.

“I know that I have put the effort in over the winter with my training and I am definitely ready for it,” he said.

“My legs feel good and I have been back to work for a couple of weeks. I still have some swelling in my left leg where I had the compound fracture but it’s not too bad. I am training flat out every single day and I have changed my diet so I am almost a full on vegan now. It will be interesting to see how I feel next week after I’ve written the bike.

“Am I going to be really sore after a days riding or not? I’m a bit apprehensive and a bit nervous about riding a bike again but coming back to it now I am properly motivated. It’s not that I need to prove anything but I just want to ride my bike.

“I think I have a little bit more to give especially in Superbikes.”

While Farmer has managed to secure a seat for the season, fellow local rider Josh Elliott has still nothing signed for 2020 as he looks to return to the Championship after a disappointing 2019.

The Ballinamallard rider is still working frantically to find an opportunity to compete against Farmer and is hoping a deal will come together before the start of the season.

“I have spoken to a few people and there is potential there but it will require some investment and some money put into it,” he revealed.

“I want to have the right people around me and do a proper job, and get back to enjoying it. This year was tough. It was a bit of a nightmare and it would be nice to get back enjoying racing again. I know a lot of deals are being done now, but never say never.

“There is potential to get a ride before March or April. We will keep working hard and hopefully something will come about.

“I still have the belief in myself that I can be at the front and compete if I can get something together.”