GOING into the British Superbike Championship fifth round meeting at Knockhill, Keith Farmer trailed Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship leader, Billy McConnell by 18 points, but by the end of it he was ahead by 12.
The ‘Clogher Bullet’ enjoyed a perfect few days in Scotland where he proved he is now at one with his Tyco BMW, topping every time sheet, setting a new lap record of 48.5 seconds and winning both races as he sounded out a warning to the rest of the competition.
“There’s not as many weekends have come as good as that or as easy as that, to be fair,” he beamed.
“We knew going into the weekend that we had good pace because we had tested there the other week when we did over 118 laps that day!
“It took me a step forward with the bike, we made good improvements to the bike and we have found what I need to do with the bike and how to ride it.
“It was just one of those weekends. I don’t know if I’ve ever had one of those weekends when I was top of the time-sheets in every single session.
“And now we have a 12 point lead in the championship, so it’s been a really, really positive weekend.
“I think now that we’ve found something with the bike that suits me, people have something to worry about!”
Having been on lap record pace during that test day at Knockhill, Keith was confident going into round five and he immediately sensed he was in for a good weekend.
“I knew from practice one and two that everyone had a quick lap or two but my consistent fast pace throughout meant that while someone may out qualify me but they wouldn’t have the race pace to stay the whole distance,” he observed.
And that view proved accurate as, despite a poor start in race one, which dropped him down to fourth, the Tyrone native managed to break the course record and seal and emphatic win by over 5.5 seconds to stamp his authority on proceedings.
Race two went similarly as the Penrith-based racer recovered from fourth place to produce a commanding win, which included an audacious pass of Andy Reid through corners one to three, which left the television commentators dumbstruck.
“The commentators said they’d never seen a pass there before, which was pretty cool because they never saw it coming,” he smiled.
After that he pulled away until the red flag was waved after Reid suffered a broken wrist following a fall, but because the race had passed three quarters distance, the result stood with Keith again on the top step of the podium.
Next up for Keith is at trip to Brands Hatch for round six, at the completion of which the series will be at the halfway stage and where he is confident of at least maintaining his championship lead, if not extending it.
“I’m looking forward to it because it’s the big GP track and I’ve always liked it and it’s never been too bad to me so hopefully we can have another good weekend,” he explained.
“I think for the rest of the year we need to keep the podiums coming and make sure we don’t make any silly mistakes.”
As well as being delighted by his own performances at Knockhill at the weekend, Keith Farmer was pleased with what he saw from two local youngsters, who were also competing in support classes of the British Superbike Championship.
Aughnacloy’s Andrew Smyth was competing in the Motostar Hel Perfomance Series for the second time on board Ron Mullin’s Cannock Site Services Moto3 Honda, while Omagh’s Jamie Lyons was making his Junior British Supersport Championship debut on his C&M-Motors Racing Kawasaki Ninja 300.
Both lads enjoyed productive weekends, learning a lot in the process, while also catching the eye – not least three time British champion Farmer as both recorded steady improvement throughout.
Andew finished 21st and 20th in his two races, while young Lyons, who was competing with a massive power disadvantage against 400cc machines, recovered from a crash in qualifying to record a lap in the 59 seconds and earn two championship points after a 14th place finish in race three following results of 20th in race one and 16th in race two, which resulted in a tip of the cap from Keith.
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