Retirement is an option, admits Keith Farmer as promise of 2021 ride falls through due to financial issues

Quadruple British champion Keith Farmer concedes he could be forced to call time on his trophy-laden career following the latest in a series of setbacks for the Co Tyrone man.

armer was revved up to return with a vengeance in 2021 in the British Superstock 1000 Championship with Morello Racing until the deal fell through due to financial issues.

It was a kick in the teeth for the 33-year-old Clogher man, whose British Superbike return last year was overshadowed by a shoulder injury at the opening round of the delayed series at Donington Park.

Farmer, who was making his comeback more than a year after breaking both legs in a crash on the Tyco BMW at Knockhill in Scotland, struggled for fitness thereafter and lost his ride with the Buildbase Suzuki team.

Now, the four-time champion is without a ride for 2021 and Farmer admits he could have a tough decision to make unless he can pull in sufficient financial support to continue racing this year.

“Basically it boils down to the fact that I need to raise some money in order to get myself a seat in the British Championship this year,” he said.

“I don’t want to sound like I’m whinging or scrounging for money, but that’s the situation that I’m in and I need to try and cover some costs. Some people have suggested setting up a crowdfunding page and the like, but that’s not really who I am.

“If I was to take all the personal sponsorship money I have at the minute, it wouldn’t cover the cost of my tyres for a season.

“I’m at the point in my career now where I have won four British titles, and if I find myself in a situation where it will cost me money to go racing, then I’ll have to take a back seat and hang up the boots.

“I have a house, bills to pay and a family to look after, so if it comes down to it then I’ll just have to make that call.”

It has been a turbulent two years for Farmer, but he is trying to maintain a positive mindset and retains complete belief in his ability to challenge for a fifth British title if the right opportunity presents itself.

“I was all set to go with Morello Racing in the British Superstock 1000 Championship but unfortunately the deal had to be called off,” said Farmer, who is now based in England.

“It’s one of those things and I just have to pick myself up and get on with it, but it’s no one’s fault really and I appreciate the fact that they gave me an early heads up, so at least I still have some time to try and put something else in place.

“We’re trying hard behind the scenes and I saw a report about Michael Dunlop being involved with me, and yes I did say that he is trying to help me out with a few bits and pieces, but he won’t be running a team with me in it or anything; the long and short of it is that I’ve got to get a budget together to go racing.

“But we’re going in the right direction and things are positive at the minute. We don’t have any concrete ground yet but I think there is light at the end of the tunnel and we’re trying to stay positive,” he added.

“I think I must have walked under a few ladders now because we’ve had two bad years, but maybe it will be third time lucky.

“I still know what I’m capable of and hopefully I’ll have the chance to be on the grid again and challenge for a fifth title.”

Meanwhile, Carrick’s Glenn Irwin was confirmed with the Honda Racing team for a second season in BSB on Friday.

The 30-year-old finished fourth in the Championship in 2020 after battling for the title until the final round.

This year’s Championship is scheduled to commence at Oulton Park over the second bank holiday weekend at the end of May.

Sunday Life

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