Ballyclare lad Jamie Hamilton will make his Isle of Man TT debut next June under the watchful eye of KMR Kawasaki team owner Ryan Farquhar.
Farquhar has a wealth of experience racing between the hedges and is well respected for his meticulous machine preparation, which should give the youngster a march on his rivals.
It’s a change of disciplines for 20-year-old Hamilton, who showed great promised on the British Championship scene for a number of years, winning the National Superstock 600cc title in 2009, but he’s now fully focused on the job in hand with the one man he truly respects.
“When I first thought about doing the roads, Ryan was the man I intended approaching, so this whole deal has worked out well for me,” said Hamilton.
“There’s not another man in road racing who has covered the whole spectrum like Ryan does. He’s proven himself as a top class rider, race winner and team owner — so no better man to learn from. We’re actually going over to have a look around the TT circuit in December. That’ll be my third visit.”
Hamilton, who was on the books at Leicester City and Bolton Wanderers as a schoolboy before taking up motorcycle racing, made his international road racing debut at the North West 200 in May, and despite the event being cut short, there was enough flavour in the experience to give him the bug for pure road racing.
“I was mesmerised with the whole experience and couldn’t speak for a while afterwards if I’m honest; that’s what gave me the TT bug,” he said.
Farquhar is the most successful national road racer of all time, and having also taken a handful of international road race wins in a career spanning over a decade, the Dungannon man is now on the racing wind down.
“I’m going to pick and choose my own races next year but Jamie will be doing all the nationals, including the NW200, TT, Ulster Grand Prix and Scarborough meetings,” said Farquhar.
“I’ll be tuning my own 650cc engines next year and I’ve just put in a Dyno at the workshop so I’m preparing for the future.
“It’s great to have Jamie onboard. He will ride Kawasaki Supertwin and Superstock machines next year for KMR, but he’ll also muck in and get his hands dirty — there are no Grand Prix racers in my team.”
Farquhar is also planning on running two or possibly three other riders on Supertwin machines in 2012, one being former Grand Prix winner Jeremy McWilliams.
Sounds like busy times ahead for the Dungannon man and KMR Kawasaki.