IT'S been a false start for everyone involved in racing across the world this year, with all the preparation and anticipation coming to nothing thus far as the world combats the Coronavirus pandemic.
Buildbase Suzuki new recruit Keith Farmer was looking to bounce back after injury curtailed his 2019 season and enjoyed a positive preseason shakedown test aboard his new GSX-R1000 superbike at the team’s Mallory Park HQ before the 2020 season was put on hold.
Here, he talks us through that first test and life under lockdown.
“It was a really good test actually; we got perfect conditions and good track temperature, and it was great to get some laps in. With being off a superbike for a full eight months it was a shock to the system to say the least, readjusting to the feeling and my eyes keeping up with going so quick again.
“With it being a shakedown test for us we didn’t really change too much on the bike, and to be honest it didn’t feel that far away at all. It was about getting my head back in getting my brain back up to speed but I was impressed with how the bike turned and how it handled; it felt like a 600 chassis but the engine was on steroids.
“The only thing I felt we needed to work was with the superbike electronics and the throttle connection. I tend to be pretty aggressive with it and so we just need to improve that feeling for me, and we were ready to go testing again before the lockdown.
“Going into this season I wanted top-10s from the off. I was pushing on top-six finishes last season before injury, so I think we could be aiming to start from solid top-10s and hopefully that would have put us in good stead to push on for a Showdown position. It’s such a competitive field but I haven’t been putting any pressure on myself. I’ve got good support from the team, the go racing for all the right reasons so we’re on the same page and that makes for a happy rider, and as they say, a happy rider is a fast rider.
“Obviously it’s a massive shame everything is on hold but it’s completely in everyone’s best interests and I hope everyone is staying at home as much as possible. I’ve probably been training harder than ever though, with more time on my hands.
“I’ve got an assault bike and some kit from my trainer Fit4Racing, plus my bicycle on a smart trainer for Zwift, so I’ve been pretty busy.
“Away from the training though I’ve also been kept busy with the family. It was all a bit tough and out of the ordinary at first but we’re dealing with it and it feels like normality now. I live with my partner Sam and daughter Khloe who’s three so that keeps us on our toes, but we’re laughing all day and and she’s learning to ride her bicycle and has a trampoline in the garden which keeps her happy and passes the time.
“In the evenings we’re getting through series on Netflix – we watched Safe which was really good and just started Tiger King. I’m also playing a bit of MotoGP19 and the new MXGP game on the PS4. Other than that it’s eating healthily, keeping fit, keeping positive, keeping safe, and waiting to get racing again.”