Two months ahead of the start of the 2021 Pirelli National Superstock Championship opener, Keith Farmer has switched teams, joining the Morello–IMR powered by Cunnington Property Developments Kawasaki team.

The four-time champion has experienced a fraught pre-season trying to put together a package that could bring him title number five, and after the collapse of two previous deals, he finally believes he now has a package that could take him back to the front of the Superstock grid.

At the turn of the year it seemed that Morello would support his campaign, but when that deal fell through due to financing issues, Platform Hire stepped in to back him.

That deal came to a premature end last week with both parties mutually agreeing to part ways, but Farmer is now hopeful it will be third time lucky following news that he will be on board the latest Kawasaki for the start of the season in July.

‘Great support’

“The team I originally signed with, Morello, have joined forces with IMR supported by CPD Racing, and we are supported by Corby Kawasaki, which is a massive dealership. We have great support,” he revealed.

“They have proper crew chiefs, proper mechanics, we have a suspension technician who is going to be with us all the time.

“I had agreed to start the season on last year’s Kawasaki because CPD had run a team last season, so they still had Kawasakis and loads of spares.

“With the right team of people around me, I thought it wouldn’t be an issue to start on the old Kawasaki, but as everything has developed, now Kawasaki UK did not want that, so we are going forward and they have got two new Kawasakis ordered.

“One is already stripped to bits and then this week they are starting to rebuild everything to the Superstock spec, so by the end of the week hopefully we will have everything fitted.”

The late deal means Farmer will need to play catch-up in testing, but he believes he will be up to speed by the time the championship gets under way in late July.

“We have already booked in with No Limits at Cantwell Park for a shakedown to make sure everything is running okay, and then on Tuesday, July 8 we will hopefully have our first official test at Donnington,” explained Keith.

“We are currently in as a reserve rider as entries are full, but we are hoping we can get pulled in.

“If not, we will just get a few more track days, and I have another race weekend booked with No Limits, so I will still have a good bit of time on it.”

Although Keith has yet to sample the bike in action, he is confident that his team will provide him with a package that can challenge for race wins.

Morello Racing’s Steve Buckingham has a track record of overseeing Championship successes, including Ballinamallard’s Josh Elliott’s Supersport win, and Keith has been left with a positive first impression of his new team.

“It definitely should be competitive,” he reckons.

“Steve is very organised and wants everything done properly. It is a British championship, and there is no point going in half-hearted.

“The days of a rider winning a championship just purely on talent don’t really exist any more. You need a full team around you, and it is all around the bike set-up and the best package, and they seem to be putting a fair effort in already.

“We haven’t turned a wheel yet but there is a lot going on already and the communication between everyone is very good.

“Everyone knows what their role is, and I have loads of motivation back. I can easily get out of bed at 5 o’clock in the morning to go training now!

“Hopefully, all being well, we will be able to go for title number five.”