September 22, 2023

Cumbria-based four times British motorcycle racing champion Keith Farmer has died suddenly aged just 35.

Keith Farmer
Keith Farmer – Credit: Social media

Keith Farmer, who lived in Penrith and worked for Waitings Ltd civil engineering firm at Cliburn, retired from racing in September 2021.

The Northern Irishman won the National Superstock 600 title in 2011, and Superstock 1000cc successes followed in 2012 and 2018, while he also won the British Supersport title in 2017.

During his career, he competed for some of the most prominent teams in British superbikes, including the Langwathby-based Paul Bird Motorsport team, Buildbase Suzuki and TAS Racing.

As well as participating in the superbikes support championships, Farmer raced regularly in the feature series.

When he announced his retirement, he had had been competing in the National Superstock Championship and had been offered a ride in the superbike class by iForce Lloyd & Jones BMW during 2021.

He said he decided to retire earlier than planned because of what he described as “two relatively big crashes”.

“I’ve had a difficult year, but racing is what it is. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to leave,” he stated. “I’ve enjoyed 10 successful years of BSB racing, competing for some of the top teams. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have been given these chances, and I have utilised them to win four British crowns.

The British Superbike Championship expressed its sorrow at learning of the demise of a well-liked and respected rider.

According to a spokeswoman, “Keith will be profoundly missed by anyone who had the pleasure of meeting him over his career.”

“Following today’s tragic news, his rivals, teammates, and fans will fondly remember him as a brilliant and successful rider on the track.

“His friends, family, and especially his children are in our prayers and in our hearts. Keith, please go in peace.  Keith passed away early on Thursday morning, according to his brother David, and his loved ones were by his side. “I’m lost for words our little brother left us at 1.45 this am with us all at his side,” he wrote in a Facebook tribute. He made us all so proud, and he will be sorely missed. Life will never be the same again. I’m with you, Meekie #33.

The Paul Bird-owned PBM Ducati Superbikes team, for which Farmer won a championship a few years ago, released the following statement: “Everyone at PBM is very grieved by the demise of Keith Farmer. His family and friends are in our thoughts as we give our condolences.  In addition to receiving support from Waitings, Farmer also received support over the years from Hillcroft Park in Pooley Bridge, Penrith’s Arragon’s Cycle Centre, and Fit4Racing.

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