Kevin Keyes


Kevin Keyes, a race winner in the National Junior Superstock Championship, will make his debut at the Isle of Man TT Races later this year.

The 25-year-old will contest the RST Superbike, RL360 Superstock and Milwaukee Senior Races on the Daracore Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 as well as the two Monster Energy Supersport Races onboard a Yamaha YZF-R6 previously used by Jamie Coward and the KTS Racing team.

Hailing from Edenderry, Ireland, Keyes was a familiar presence in the British Championship paddock between 2015 and 2022, initially making his name in the British Junior Cup where he finished second overall in 2015 with five wins and nine podiums.

Moving up to the National Junior Superstock Championship, Keyes scored points regularly in the 2016 and 2017 seasons for the Appleyard Macadam and Team #109 Racing teams, but it was in 2018 when he really made his mark. Continuing on the Team #109 Kawasaki, Keyes finished an impressive fourth in the championship aided by podium finishes at Oulton Park, Donington Park and Knockhill. He finished eighth overall the following year but stood on the top step for the first time in the series.

Keyes took to road racing for the first time in 2022, contesting the Walderstown Road Races with immediate success as he dominated the Irish Senior Support Championship race ahead of eventual champion Keelim Ryan, Michael Gillan and Marcus Simpson.

A switch to the 1000cc class and Daracore Racing team came in 2023 for a year of circuit racing away from the national series, securing race victories, podiums and a championship against the likes of Josh Owens, Jamie Coward, Sam West and Marcus Simpson.

Keyes undertook his first visits to the Isle of Man in recent weeks, completing laps with TT Rider Liaison Officers John Barton and Richard ‘Milky’ Quayle, and has a number of visits planned ahead of his debut.

Kevin Keyes: “I’m extremely excited to be making my TT debut later this year and the work is well underway to be as best prepared as possible. Watching the onboard videos doesn’t fully prepare you for seeing the Mountain Course in real though, as there are so many undulations and climbs you can’t see on the TV.”

“The laps with Johnny [Barton] and [Richard] Milky [Quayle] have been of great benefit though, so I’ll head back to the Island again in the coming months as I want my knowledge to be the best it possibly can. Michael Sweeney has been a great mentor for my roads journey so far, so there will be plenty of support and advice available to me from him, too.”

“I really fell in love with road racing that first time at Walderstown. I surprised myself with the wins but now seems the right time to take it a bit further. I considered doing the Manx Grand Prix but there perhaps would have been a bit more pressure to perform there, so I’m delighted that the opportunity to come straight to the TT was there. Everyone will be concentrating on Hickman, Dunlop and McGuinness, so I can just go about the event almost unknown!”

“The Supersport class is the one I have the most experience in having ridden the 600cc bikes for seven years, but I’ve adapted well to the big bike and I’m learning all the time. I’m not focusing on the results in my first year though, it’s all about making the most of the track time available in every session and enjoying my first TT. “


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