A statement released tonight by Paul Bird's Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team says Northern Ireland rider Keith Farmer will remain a member of the outfit for the remainder of the season.

Japanese star Noriyuki Haga has been brought into the team alongside Shane Byrne for the final three rounds of the MCE British Superbike Championship, however a third Kawasaki ZX-10R may be made available to Farmer should he be deemed fit enough to compete in any of the Showdown races.

The PBM statement said: "Further to the recent announcement that Noriyuki Haga would be joining the Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM) team aboard the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki ZX-10R for the final three rounds of the 2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, the team wishes to clarify the situation regarding Keith Farmer.

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"For a number of weeks now, Keith has suffered from a debilitating illness which has affected his performances on track. As a result, Keith has sought and continues to seek medical advice and has undergone tests whereby a diagnosis is expected soon and a programme of treatment can commence.

"As well as being in contention to retain their MCE British Superbike Championship crown with Shane 'Shakey' Byrne, the team is contractually bound to field two riders for the remainder of the season so a combination of Keith's illness, combined with the extra pressure to perform in the Showdown, whereby they felt it would be unfair to him, led to the team making the decision to engage the services of Haga.

"Contrary to speculation, Keith Farmer remains a member of the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team and will do so for the remainder of the 2013 season," the statement continued.

"Should Keith and the team deem him fit enough to race in any of the remaining MCE British Superbike Championship rounds this season, upon clearance from the BSB medical team, a third Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki would be made available for Keith to race.

"If he's unable to race again this season at BSB level, another option being considered by the team is to field Keith in an end of season non-championship meeting of his choice whereby the physical demands and performance expectations may be somewhat reduced."

Farmer has stated that he will sit out the remainder of the season as he bids to overcome a mystery virus and concentrate on regaining his fitness for next season.

The Clogher man also revealed he only learned of Haga's switch to the team via Twitter.