In an exclusive interview with Keith Amor, BikeRaceNews.com’s Darren Healy discusses the reasons for his departure from JMF Millsport Racing, his plans for 2010 and who he thinks his main rivals will be this season.With just three weeks to go before the start of the 2010 racing season, news broke of Keith Amor’s split from the JMF Millsport racing squad. The news came as a massive shock to everybody as Keith had been tipped to be one of the main front runners this season with such a strong team behind him along with Keith’s very obvious natural talent on a motorcycle. BikeRaceNews.com caught up with Keith this week to find out exactly what happened between him and the JMF Millsport team and what his plans are for the season ahead now that he is without a team or bikes around him at such a late stage in the build up to the 2010 season.
BikeRaceNews: Obviously the big news at the moment is your departure from the JMF Millsport racing team. How and why did this come about?
Keith Amor: Jimmy is a great guy with an excellent team and infrastructure around him, so good in fact that I believe he could run a Moto GP team if he wanted to. We both wanted the same thing and that was obviously to win races, but at the end of the day we were both pulling in different directions in our approach to racing. I know how I want to do things and at my age, I need things done in a particular way.
I have a way I like to approach things and it’s sometimes hard to communicate that way to someone new. The set up wasn’t working for me so I made the decision to walk away and to not waste anyone’s time, money or effort. There was no fall-out or argument, Jimmy is an absolute gentleman and I have the utmost respect for him. It’s very unfortunate how things have worked out and it’s really disappointing for me and the team.
BRN: Have you been able to sort out any machinery for the season in the short space of time since the split?
KA: I’m talking to quite a few sponsors, people and manufacturers at the moment but there are no deals 100% complete or set in stone. Things just have to be right and the last thing I want to do is go and overstretch a team, their bikes or myself. I’ll hopefully have something sorted over the next couple of weeks but there is nothing signed at the minute.
BRN: Will you be receiving any help from your good mate Johnny Rea due to the circumstances?
KA: I suppose that’s the kind of question everybody is going to ask due to my friendship with Johnny. Again, I’m not talking to any teams, just manufacturers. There have been no concrete decisions made but you can never write anything off.
BRN: Do these events change your plans for the season and some of the events that you will take part in?
KA: This has just been a massive set back time wise, but with all of the Nationals that keep getting cancelled and the cost involved, I’m not completely sure what races I’ll be attending. I will definitely be doing the four International road races, meaning the TT, North West 200, Ulster Grand Prix and Kells as they are the priority for me this season. I also aim to race at Skerries, Killalane and the Southern 100. The Southern 100 is a race that just hasn’t been doable for me in the past for a number of reasons but I would love to race there this year. I am considering the Cookstown 100 and Scarborough but I’ll have to wait and see about them. I also hope to be at the Enkalon Trophy races but I just don’t know at this stage.
BRN: Your ambitions for the season must remain the the same for the season despite this set back. What are they?
KA: My season is all about the Isle of Man TT and gaining as many wins as I can there, nothing matters more to me throughout the season. I would dearly love a win at the North West 200 and the Ulster Grand Prix but the TT is my main focus and a win there means more than anything.
BRN: Who do you think will be your biggest rivals at the International races?
KA: John McGuinness at the TT, no question. He is Mr.TT. He knows the place better than anybody and will be the main man again this year. Any of the riders on the factory Honda and Suzuki’s will take some beating in the Superbike class because of their experience at the races, HM Plant Honda have years of experience both at British and World level. The privateers are going to have to produce something extra special to beat them but I will be giving it my very best shot. There are so many riders that could win at the TT this year, it could be any one of twelve names, particularly in the Supersport and Superstock classes.
BRN: Who do you think will be one to watch out for this year?
KA: I think Gary Johnson is a good lad and is very dedicated. He has had a bit of bad luck in the past but he is quick and has a good team behind him this year.
BRN: Finally, who is your pick for the podium at the TT?
KA: John McGuinness in the Superbike class but I really think you could put 12 names in a hat and come out with a realistic podium every time.
Darren Healy: While chatting to Keith, his phone was constantly ringing in the background, a sure sign as if any was needed that Keith will be sorted with some competitive machinery before long. We all hope to see him lining up on the grid at the Easter Weekend Races in Bishopscourt, Northern Ireland where he hopes to defend the Enkalon trophy he won there last year.
After concluding the interview, one thing is for certain and that is that Keith’s hunger for victories this season remains very much intact despite the recent events. He is a man with a very clear vision and one who knows exactly what he wants and needs to win this season. BikeRaceNews wish Keith all the very best for the season ahead and we hope to see him on the podium at the TT this year.