Keith Farmer aims to learn from 'silly mistakes' as he chases fourth British title

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Keith Farmer has won three British Superstock 1000cc races so far this season

Keith Farmer aims to learn from some "silly mistakes" he made last year as he chases a fourth British title in this season's Superstock 1000cc series.

A double at Knockhill saw the Northern Ireland rider move 12 points clear at the top of the standings ahead of this weekend's three Brands Hatch GP races.

"I know now that if you can't win then settle for a good finish," said the 30-year-old Tyco BMW rider.

"It's better to get some points on the board than chucking it down the road."

Farmer secured the British Supersport title from compatriot Andrew Irwin last year, after becoming Superstock 600 champion in 2011 and collecting a Superstock 1000 series success in 2012.

"I learnt a lot last year and I will draw on that experience," added the Clogher man. "I made quite a few stupid mistakes at the end of the season when I should have had the championship wrapped up with three rounds to go.

"We're not halfway through the season yet and there are a lot of races left with plenty of strong opposition so I think I just need to try and be smart and finish every single race.

"The Tyco BMW team are putting a full effort in and the bike is improving all the time."

Keith Farmer
Farmer won last year's British Supersport series after starting the season without a ride

The '100-miler' at Brands Hatch

Farmer has won three races this season, having also triumphed at Oulton Park on May Day, but explains that a recent test session at Knockhill helped him really gel with his BMW machine for the first time.

"Throughout the season I've steadily chipped away but we changed the bike considerably at Knockhill and those changes, combined with me learning how to ride the bike better, have really improved things," he said.

"We found a really good setting with the bike that I liked and over the course of the Knockhill weekend we pretty much looked invincible on the timesheets.

"I'm going into this weekend's races at the Brands Hatch GP circuit with confidence, at a circuit I absolutely love, so hopefully I can continue my good form for the rest of the season.

"It's a double race on Saturday, the '100-miler' as they call it, 18-lap races back to back, so you need to stay on in the first half so that you're there to start the second half.

"It's more important to win the second half as there are an extra five points up for grabs, which my nearest challenger Billy McConnell picked up when they last ran that format at Donington."

Kneen death leaves team on 'a downer'

The late Dan Kneen achieved two top-eight finishes in the British Superstocks this season before losing his life in a crash at the TT
The late Dan Kneen achieved two top-eight finishes in the British Superstocks this season before losing his life in a crash at the TT

Farmer explains that the death of his Tyco BMW team-mate Dan Kneen in a practice crash for the Isle of Man TT at the end of May has left a cloud over the Moneymore outfit and he remembers the Manxman fondly.

"During winter testing Dan and I hung out because we were the Superstock guys and we had a bit of a laugh together - he was such a pleasant young guy," Farmer said.

"He showed what he could do in the first couple of Superstock rounds when he was just getting bike time to get up to speed for the roads. He certainly pushed me in some of the races.

"It's very sad but the guys know what the outcome of a crash on the roads can be. Dan was from the Isle of Man and he was always going to up the pace because he was from there and knew everywhere like the back of his hand.

"It has put a downer on the team and to lose William Dunlop, another massive name, and then James Cowton - it's terrible.

"It shows you how close the road-racing family and the bike-racing community in general are because everyone feels it. It's a tough time."