In a tense final race of the season at Brands Hatch on Sunday Team Appleyard Macadam Racing’s Keith Farmer brought home his Yamaha R6 in 5th place to scoop the British Supersport Championship!
In the view of team manager Robin Appleyard, the Northern Ireland rider from Clogher in County Tyrone fully deserved the title:
"He won nine races throughout the gruelling season which started back in March when he stepped in to take up the seat from the team’s original selection for the ride, Luke Jones, who badly damaged a hand when crashing during pre-season testing."
Keith had the opportunity to wrap up the series at Assen in Holland at the penultimate meeting but failed to pick up a single point. He was therefore left needing 7 points going into the last two races at Brands Hatch to beat off his nearest rival Andrew Irwin. The weekend started well for the previous British Superstock 600 Champion as he claimed an impressive pole in qualifying. However in Saturday’s Sprint Race he crashed out on the opening lap to take the title down to the wire. Luckily, only his pride was hurt in the crash but the bike however was badly damaged and the pit lane team had to burn the midnight oil to ensure it was fit for Sunday’s feature race.
Fully aware of what he had to do in that final race Farmer adopted a sensible, cautious approach, tucking in behind the leaders in fifth place. As the race progressed the front five pulled away from the field and it quickly became clear, barring any silly slip up, the Championship was in the bag.
After it was all over Robin Appleyard, who himself is a previous British 125 Champion, paid tribute to the whole team:
"Many congratulations to Keith who has been great throughout the season and shown what an accomplished rider he is. However he could not have done it without the backroom boys and a big thank you has to go to them. They have shown complete commitment from start to finish".
Robin also thanked all the team’s sponsors with a special mention for Dougie Macadam of John Macadam & Son, car breakdown and recovery:
"Dougie has been our main sponsor for a number of years and has been totally wrapped up in the team. He loves his bike racing and his enthusiasm shines through. I dedicate this win to him."
Colin Appleyard formed the race team in the early eighties whilst his son, Robin was still racing. When Robin retired he joined his father in helping to manage the team which has always focused on supporting young and promising riders. Sadly Colin is no longer here to see the team finally take the Supersport title but his dedication and memory were honoured when, following the final race, the team were seen wearing customised t-shirts sporting a photo of him on the sleeve and the words "For Colin"