Hamilton capture a coup for Burrows
Following discussions at the Macau Grand Prix earlier this month, 23-year-old Ballyclare lad Jamie Hamilton will finally join forces with former racer John Burrows in his Dungannon-based B.E Racing squad for the 2015 season.
Burrows' team took Manxman Dan Kneen to Ulster and Irish Superbike titles between the hedges this year - and a debut victory at the Ulster Grand Prix to boot - but the Douglas-based 27-year-old opted to join local rivals Millsport Racing, the Ballymoney-based team who will run Suzuki machinery next term.
The Manxman's decision to seek pastures new left team owner Burrows in a bit of a quandary, which he openly admitted, but the signing of local rider Hamilton for the 2015 season should also help with much needed sponsorship support.
"We have some exciting news about sponsorship, which we can confirm in the next few weeks and I've been approached by another couple of local companies," said Burrows.
"That in itself proves we are doing a decent enough job, and the news that Jamie is now on board will no doubt please local fans."
Hamilton was always high on the Dungannon businessman's shortlist once Kneen announced his departure, and although the affable Ballyclare lad's style has been classed as a little over-exuberant at times, Burrows believes he can help the youngster polish off the rough edges.
"When Dan came to us he was classed as a bit of a crasher," said Burrows openly. "But look at the job we did with him this season. Everyone goes through that stage when they find the speed to run at the sharp end and Jamie is no different, but I think we can do a good job with him and I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Hamilton made his name on the tarmac scene in the British championship and after capturing the 2009 National Superstock 600cc title, but when bigger doors refused to budge in the BSB paddock, he opted for a career between the hedges.
Having gleaned experience from former employer Ryan Farquhar in the record breaking local road racer's KMR Kawasaki team during his first full season in 2012, and subsequent success both with KMR in 2013 and also this year with Wilson Craig Racing, Hamilton believes he can push on under the wing of Burrows and his B.E Racing team.
He said: "I'm very happy that I have secured a ride with one of the most professional teams in road racing. I was very impressed with the team's achievements this year on the roads, and I hope my efforts will bring more success for them in 2015.
"The bikes will definitely be ultra competitive and I'm confident of taking top results," added Hamilton, who will ride an upgraded and refreshed version of the GSX-R1000 Superbike that Kneen took to many victories and an Irish Superbike title this year.
Having lifted the Best Newcomer accolade at the TT during his first full season between the hedges in 2012, and having been on the rostrum at both the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix in the Supertwins class, the former double Irish Road Racing champion is the right man for the job, according to team owner Burrows.
"If I'm honest I was probably a bit critical of Jamie's riding in the past, but he impressed me this year, especially his four wins at Bush," he said. "Hopefully I can now pass on some knowledge to help him go even faster in 2015, but more importantly, faster and safer."
Looking ahead, Burrows added: "As well as the Superbike, Jamie will ride our 600 Honda and with his pedigree on a Supertwin, we may well look at building him a new bike, as that class will undoubtedly give him his best chance of an international win next season."
B.E Racing will conduct a full Irish Championship campaign in 2015 with Hamilton, as well as taking part in the North West 200, Isle of Man TT, Southern 100, Ulster Grand Prix and Macau Grand Prix internationals.