Two local riders will battle against each other for the British Superstock 1000 championship title this season, with Ballinamallard’s Josh Elliott and Clogher’s Keith Farmer both securing deals to compete in the series.
Both riders have a winning pedigree, with Elliott having taken the Superstock title in 2015, and Farmer the reigning British Supersport champion. This season they are both heading into the season hopeful of adding another title to their collections.
“We will get testing early and try to get a good set up and then go in with the aim to win it,” said Josh Elliott, who has teamed up with Morello Racing, the team he won the title with in 2015. 
“It’s a great package. I have already won plenty of races on the Kawasaki. It is a competitive bike. I know it’s not going to be easy because the Superstock championship is very difficult but if we get the track time and get the bike in the sweet spot for me, then we will be very competitive.”
After several impressive outings in the Superbike series in 2017 Josh was hoping he would be able to make the step up next year, but despite not securing the much sought after ride, he does have a path mapped out that will take him to the Superbikes in 2019. 
“It is another year in Superstock with a plan to be on a Superbike in 2019,” he revealed. 
“Steve (Buckenham) will start to build a superbike midway through the season so it will be ready for me to test from part way through the year and then on to 2019. That is the offer that has been given to me. Steve has also been kind enough to give me a get out clause that if a superbike clause did come up between now and the start of the season he would let me go for it. 
“It is a good deal for me and it is a lot of weight off your shoulders when you get a deal sorted early on. That is pretty much why I went for it, to have that security of having a bike there. A Superbike ride is still a possibility but it is very small. It could happen in the next few weeks or it could never happen. Thankfully Steve has given me a get out clause in the contract.”
Keith was also on the lookout for a competitive ride in the Superbike championship in 2017, but like Josh he is now hoping to step sideways into Superstock before making the step up. 
“It was a tough decision,” admitted Keith. 
“We wanted to be on superbike after wining Superstock 1000 in 2012, finishing third on the Honda in 2016, and winning the Supersport championship this year. With the maturity of my riding I just felt that now was the time that if we could get a good superbike we could do a really good job. It just wasn’t to be. All the seats were filling up fast with the existing riders. There was a few teams that were looking us, but I didn’t want to go back into Superbike for the wrong reasons. With the Tyco BMW deal and Philip, it leaves me with more of a realistic chance. I can maybe add a fourth title to my achievements and if I win it then I go back in with a top team.”
“I don’t want to go back into Superbike with a team that is not rated. British Superbikes is so competitive that you can’t go in with an uncompetitive package. I learnt the hard way in 2014 when I took a not so good ride and it left me with nothing in 2015. 
“I didn’t want that happening again so with that in mind I went for a sideward step to Superstock 1000 with a really competitive bike. 
“With the deal I have with Philip, if I win it I will go to superbike with him in 2019. If we can keep our feet on the ground hopefully we can do the job.”
Both riders will start testing their bikes at the start of the New Year, with the first race scheduled for April.