Junior Cup and Junior Superstock race winner Kevin Keyes has announced he will beckon the next generation of road racers when he makes his debut on the Isle of Man TT in 2024.
The 25-year old established himself as a leading light of the junior two-wheel racing scene competing in the domestic BSB support programme between 2015 and 2022 before switching his focus to road racing.
During his time in the UK, the Irishman was a runner-up in the Junior Cup in 2015 before scoring victories and finishing inside the overall top five at Junior Superstock level in the ensuing years.
Since 2022 though, Keyes has been focusing on road racing, making his debut in 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.
As such, he will tackle the iconic Mountain Course for the first time in TT with a major bid in the Superbike, Superstock and Senior TT races aboard the Yamaha R1 prepared by Daracore Racing. He will also ride an ex-Jamie Coward Yamaha R6 in the Supersport races.
Having been given an initiation around the TT by Johnny Barton and “Milky” Quayle, Keyes is itching to get a proper taste of the circuit.
“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 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!”