Welcome to Team ILR...

Lougher and Browne at the Double 

Ian Lougher and Mike Browne both tasted double success at the 2023 Gold Cup meeting at Oliver's Mount.
Photo: Team ILR 

Ian Lougher added two more wins to his Oliver's Mount tally to raise the record to an incredible 144 successes around the iconic North Yorkshire circuit. 

In typical autumnal weather conditions, Lougher was successful in both the Lightweight races at the annual Gold Cup meeting on the beautiful
Laylaw Racing TZ250 Yamaha, owned and prepared by Eddie Laycock and Gerry Lawlor, and on a bike and circuit that he knows extemely well, pole position by over a second in qualifying therefore didn't really come as any great surprise. 

There were three Lightweight races in total over the weekend with the first being won comfortably on Saturday, despite a five second penalty for an uncharacteristic jump start by the experienced Welshman.
Lougher again won the first of Sunday's two races although he was made to work harder for it in the closing stages, and he was denied a hat-trick when he finished second in the third encounter. 
Ian was equal first with Grant Whitaker in the overall Trophy Points. 

The Supertwins class saw an almost mirror image of the Lightweights with Cork's 
Mike Browne, having a last minute ride on one of the Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments S1R Patons, riding brilliantly to secure two race wins from pole and narrowly losing out on a third win by just 0.26s. 
Lougher also rode superbly on another team Paton to come from the back of the grid to register 7th and 4th place finishes. 
Browne also deservedly took first in the overall Trophy Points.

Ian Lougher added to his Spring Cup success on the LayLaw Racing TZ250, with two more wins on the Yamaha at the Gold Cup.
Photo: Team ILR

Team ILR principal Ian Lougher
"Well, sadly after a very satisfying and successful 2023 season, its another year over. 
With Joe Yeardsley deciding to end his year early, we thought I would be the lone Team ILR rider at Oliver’s Mount, but a last minute request from Mike meant our second Paton was to get an outing. 
In a weekend of mixed conditions Mike acquitted himself superbly, with pole to win two of his races and a close 2nd place in the last race...despite having a niggling problem with his wrist. 
For myself I had to start from the back of the grid after the rear brake stuck on solid in qualifying..so I was happy enough with a 7th and a hard fought 4th in the final race. 
On the Laylaw Yamaha TZ250 on wet tyres, I managed to achieve two wins and a 2nd place finish, albeit with a 5 second jump start penalty in the first race....oh dear!!!
A big thank you to all our sponsors and hard working team members over the weekend..Asa, Mark, Jacko, Joe, Robert and Kit. 
And to all our supporters....See you all next year." 


Record Breaking Manx Grand Prix 

Victor Lopez became Spain's first ever winner at the Manx Grand Prix with a record breaking win in the Junior race on a Team ILR S1R Paton.
Peter Callister 

It was a record breaking Centenary Manx Grand Prix for Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments as Victor Lopez and Joe Yeardsley swept to victory in the Junior and Senior races respectively. 
Local man Yeardsley was nothing short of sensational on his Mountain Course debut and he, 
Lopez, Maurizio Bottalico and evergreen team principal Ian Lougher were right in the mix from the first qualifying session, with the Thursday afternoon's session particularly memorable as Lopez and then Yeardsley unofficially broke the Junior lap record (set by Francesco Curinga on our Paton in last year's Junior win)  

Meanwhile Ian was quietly going about his business in the Lightweight class to finish second quickest by fractions of a second to Michael Dunlop, and practice week concluded with all our riders in the Top 10 in every class, with Joe fastest in the Junior.

Maurizio Bottalico, here at Greeba Castle on the team's CBR 600RR Honda, rode superbly at the 2023 Manx GP with third place in the Junior race on a Team ILR Paton a highlight for the popular Italian. 
Photo: Peter Callister 

Saturday afternoon's Junior Manx GP would see Victor create his own slice of history when he became the first Spanish rider to win at the Manx Grand Prix, setting a new Junior lap record of 117.645mph on his way to winning the four-lap race.

It was Yeardsley who set the early pace and he officially broke the lap record with an opening salvo of 116.906mph leaving him in a fairly commanding lead of almost 10 seconds from Lopez.
However the Laxey man's bid for victory was thwarted when he unfortunately retired at Kirk Michael leaving Victor to take the race lead from Andrea Majola and Maurizio Bottalico. 
Tasting success, Majola piled on the pressure and got to within 0.5 seconds of Lopez on the third lap with Bottalico still very much in the hunt. 

However, thanks to good signals, Lopez responded. 
Going on to the final circuit he led by 1.7 seconds and he raised the lap record further to 117.645mph to take the race win by over 14 seconds from Majola, with Bottalico bringing our other Paton home in third to complete a brilliant race for the team, and lessen the disappointment that everyone felt for Yeardsley.

Ian Lougher at Ballaugh Bridge on his way to second place in the 2023 Lightweight Manx Grand Prix on the LayLaw Racing TZ250 Yamaha.  

As for Ian Lougher, the story of this remarkable rider just continues. 
Four decades on since he graced the podium at the 1983 Newcomers race beside Steve Hislop and Robert Dunlop, he once again stood on the podium at the Manx Grand Prix, and for the second year running.
Ian was always in the mix on the immaculate LayLaw Racing TZ250 Yamaha during qualifying, and started as one of the race favourites. 

A delay meant the race set off on Saturday evening over a shortened three laps with Lougher and Cork's Mike Browne soon establishing a healthy lead, both on time and on the road. 
The expected challenge from Michael Dunlop never materialised when he was an early retirement near Union Mills, and he was soon joined by another fancied runner Paul Jordan. 

An opening lap of 116.980mph gave Mike an 11.44 second lead as they made their compulsory pit stop, and then, with the weather closing in, it was announced that the second lap would be the last.

Mike took the race win from his team mate Ian, a repeat of last year's result and a testament to the hard work that Eddie Laycock and Gerry Lawlor put into their bikes. 

Joe Yeardsley was one of the stars of the 2023 Manx Grand Prix, and is pictured here on a Team ILR S1R Paton. 
Photo: Peter Callister

Monday's Senior Manx GP saw Joe Yeardsley overcome the disappointment of his Junior retirement when he scorched to victory on his own bike and broke the Senior Manx GP lap record in the process, his win was all the more special coming as it did almost 40 years after his dad Buddy won the same race in 1985. 
Victor Lopez rode very well on the team's R6 Yamaha to finish 6th, with Maurizio Bottalico a retirement at Ballaugh on the opening lap. 

In closing our thoughts are with the families and friends of Gary Vines and Ian Bainbridge who sadly lost their lives at the event.

 ILR principal Ian Lougher
"I must say when we arrived on the island I was wondering if we’d taken on too much this year, with 3 riders and 5 bikes to look after plus myself riding the beautiful Laylaw TZ250, but with a great bunch of hard working people involved from within our team we were able to achieve some fantastic results.
Two out of our three riders on the Junior Manx GP rostrum plus winning the race and lap record for the second time in a row…what more can we ask for. 
I enjoyed working a lot with Victor, Maurizio and Joe, all of them very different characters but all professional and dedicated, congratulations to all of them for their great results. 
Big thanks to all our sponsors and team members involved for making it all achievable."
Ian x


Lougher joined by three riders at Centenary Manx Grand Prix 

Ian Lougher on his way to second place in the 2022 Lightweight Manx Grand Prix on the LayLaw Racing TZ250 Yamaha. 
Peter Callister 

Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments will return to race action at the Manx GP which is celebrating its centenary this year and, as in 2022, is centred around the August Bank Holiday. 

Leading the team is Mountain Course legend
 Ian Lougher who arrives on the island fresh from an outing at the recent Armoy Road Races where he qualified John Chapman's Honda 350 K4 in second place, before the race itself was declared after only two laps due to oil on the circuit.

Ian will again link up with Gerry Lawlor and former double TT winner Eddie Laycock, when he competes in the Lightweight Manx Grand Prix on the now familiar Laylaw Racing Yamaha TZ250. 

Second in last year's race, Lougher starts with the Number 2 plate, and he will have his team-mate and last year's winner Mike Browne starting behind him. Ian in turn will be chasing Dominic Herbertson who goes off first.

Joe Yeardsley has shown good form on the Paton such as here during the Spring Cup at Oliver's Mount in April. 
Photo: Harry Fox 

Joining Ian will be young local rider Joe Yeardsley who has showed impressive form on his two outings with the team in 2023, Spain's Victor Lopez who was lying a very close second in last year's Junior Manx GP before the engine blew on his Aprilia RS660 in a race won by Francesco Curinga on a Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments Paton, and Italian Maurizio Botalico a newcomer last year with an impressive 12th place ride in the Senior Manx GP. 

Victor Lopez in action at the 2022 Manx GP.

All three will be Paton mounted in the Junior Manx Grand Prix, in addition to this Lopez and Botalico will also take part in the Senior Manx GP where Victor will ride the team's Yamaha R6 and Maurizio will be on our Honda CBR600RR. 

Maurizio Botalico at Sulby Bridge: 2022 Senior Manx Grand Prix.
Photo: ttracepics.com

The 2023 Manx Grand Prix takes place from 20th-28th August 2023.

Lougher to race at Armoy 

Ian Lougher takes the chequered flag to win the 1000cc Classic Race on the John Chapman Racing MV Agusta 500 at the 2021 Armoy Road Races. 
Gavan Caldwell 

Ian Lougher will return to the Armoy Road Races which take place on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th July, and the aptly named 'Race of Legends' meeting will see Lougher again link up with well-known enthusiast John Chapman when he rides his 350 Honda K4 and 500 MV Agusta in the classic races. 

Ian needs absolutely no introduction in the world of road racing, but it is still relatively recently that he donned an Armoy newcomer's bib when he made his debut in 2017 riding the Team ILR 250 Honda in the Moto 3 race. 

It would be four years until his next outing at Armoy, this time on a Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments Paton on which he finished 10th in the Supertwin race.
But it was on the John Chapman Racing 500 MV that Ian opened his Armoy account with a win in the Classic 1000cc race after a thrilling tussle with Guy Martin, during which he overturned a three seconds deficit at the end of the second lap to take the race win, and with it the fastest lap of the race at 86.576mph in what was one of the best races of the day. 

In 2022, he took another win, this time in the Junior Classic 350cc race on a 350 Honda from the Davies Motorsport yesteryear racing stable.

Ian Lougher
"Armoy is an enjoyable but tricky circuit to ride, and whilst I have only ridden there a handful of times, to win twice in successive years in 2021 and '22 was very pleasing, particularly on John Chapman's MV. 
John is so dedicated and works so hard to present his riders with the best possible bike he can, so it was great to reward him with a win. 
Hopefully we can repeat that run this year, it certainly won't be down to a lack of trying, and let's hope that everyone has a safe and enjoyable meeting."


Lougher returns to Southern 100 after 10 years 

Ian Lougher and Joe Yeardsley will bring the S1-R Patons to the grid at the 2023 Southern 100.
 Team ILR

It's a return to competitive action and the Isle of Man next week for Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments when the team takes part in the Southern 100 Road Races from 10 - 13 July and, as at the Spring Cup in April, Ian Lougher will again partner Joe Yeardsley on the team's S1-R Patons. 

It's a remarkable statistic that 40 years have slipped by since Lougher made his debut at the Southern 100 in 1983, with his first win coming in 1987 in the 350cc race.
And although it's been ten years since he last raced at 'The Friendly Races', it's a fairly safe bet that the event's most successful ever competitor with 32 wins, and who still holds a place in the Top 20 all-time fastest laps and fastest average race speeds for solos around the Billown Circuit, will have absolutely no trouble getting dialled in again.

Joe Yeardsley is itching to get going again on the Paton, and the young prospect who hails from the island will be looking to build on his fast growing reputation as a rider to look out for as he competes on home soil. 

Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments team principal Ian Lougher:
"I'm looking forward to linking up again with Joe Yeardsley at Billown. 
Joe demonstrated at Oliver's Mount that he and the Paton are a good fit and he will certainly be one to watch over the four days of action. 
For myself, riding at Billown will give me the opportunity to get some more racing miles under my belt in preparation for the Manx, in addition to this I love the Southern 100 and the club are the best in the world.
The last time I rode there was back in 2013, but the circuit still goes the same way! :-)


Isle of Man TT Report

Stefano Bonetti, Masayuki Yamanaka and Francesco Curinga.
Photo Credit:
 Peter Callister

The dust has settled on the Isle of Man TT for another year, and for Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments it was a TT of two halves. 

Team boss
 Ian Lougher spent a lot of time passing on his years of mountain course experience to the team's Japanese rider Masayuki Yamanaka and Italian Francesco Curinga and both riders rode well throughout the fortnight.

Stefano Bonetti.
Photo Credit: Peter Callister 

The first day of practice saw Yamanaka concentrate on his braking points, gear selection, etc, and a spill in the Supertwin session at Glen Helen did little to deter his enthusiasm as he looked forward to his first run out on the 2023 Honda CBR600RR the following evening. 
Masayuki would round off the week with his fastest qualifying laps, 113.964mph in the Supersport class and 108.365mph on the Kawasaki ER-6 in the Supertwin class. 
Meanwhile Italians Curinga and Stefano Bonetti were, as expected, going well on the Patons with the two qualifying 10th and 11th in the Supertwins, with less than two seconds separating them. 

Francesco Curinga. 
Photo Credit: Peter Callister

Race week, like practice, was held in warm, sunny weather and it was Yamanaka who was first to open the team's race account in the first Supersport TT on Saturday afternoon. 
He finished 41st and suffered in the latter stages of the race with fatigue in the hot conditions. 

The first Supertwin TT saw all three riders in action and there was early disappointment when both Curinga and Bonetti were opening lap retirements whilst riding strongly, this left Masayuki as the team's only rider in the race and he rode gamely to finish a very credible 27th out of 44 starters. 

The popular Japanese rider was soon in action again in the second Supersport TT and this time he went five places better to finish 36th and improve his fastest lap time in the process. 

Masayuki Yamanaka.
Photo Credit:
 Peter Callister 

That left the second Supertwin TT to round off the team's 2023 Isle of Man TT and this time, thanks to some brilliant teamwork, particularly with the pitstops, Bonetti and Curinga made up for the disappointment of the first race with two briliant rides. 
Bonetti in particular was always in the hunt in the top six and eventually finished a great fourth, with Curinga coming through from 11th on the opening lap to finish a strong 8th.
Behind them was an equally brilliant performance from Yamanaka to get into the Top 20 and clinch his first ever Bronze replica. 

In closing it's a big thank-you to all our loyal team sponsors without whom it wouldn’t be possible to even be here..…especially Mr Mark Coverdale for his endless support and enthusiasm. 
 JackoMartin, WillyAsa, John and Keiko for all their hard work, it’s really been a truly international team this year with all the Italian and Japanese riders and supporters, with everybody pulling together..fantastic. 

Ian Lougher and Tiki.
Photo Credit: Team ILR

Team ILR principal Ian Lougher:
"It’s been a mixed TT for us really, as after Tuesday’s twins race with both Stefano and Francesco breaking down and only Masayuki getting a finish, it was a very disappointing start for our Paton riders. 
But with a lot of work from the team, especially Jacko and Martin, we came away with some good solid results, 4th, 8th and a best result for Masayuki gaining his first bronze replica, plus our brand new 2023 CBR600RR was a success. 
So for Team ILR the TT ended with the team in good spirits. 
However, the team would like to send their condolences to Raul’s family and friends for their loss at this very sad time. 
Thanks goes out to all the marshals, medical staff and organisers for doing a brilliant job. 
The weather helped a lot to make it a safer TT and cause the lap records to tumble, but I must say the talk of lap records at every opportunity is maybe ok for the spectators and journalists but I feel in my heart it’s not good for the people within the paddock and the sport in general.
But I guess I’m an old git now perhaps with old ideas and ideals, and by saying so will probably get accused of being out of touch….hey-ho." 


Sweeney crash casts a cloud over North-West 200

The North-West 200 was the latest stop in Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments' season and, as in 2022, the team arrived on the North Coast with a three pronged attack on the Supertwin class with Stefano BonettiFrancesco Curinga and Michael Sweeney on Patons.
Ryan Gibson was the fourth member of the team, riding the R6 Yamaha in the Supersport class. 

Michael Sweeney. 
Photo Credit: 
Team ILR 

After Ian Lougher had taken the newcomers round on Tuesday on the team's 2023 Honda CBR600RR, it was back to team business for the 8 times North-West 200 winner with a busy day of qualifying ahead in glorious sunshine. 
Quickest of the Supertwin Paton trio was the impressive Sweeney on an unfamiliar bike in 7th, with Bonetti just behind him in 8th, with their roles reversed in 3rd and 4th quickest through the speed trap. Curinga was also going well initially but his session came to an early stop when he spotted a problem with the Paton bringing his Q1 to an early conclusion.
Meanwhile in the Supersport session, Gibson enjoyed a steady first session finishing in 24th, a commendable performance as it was his first competitive ride on the Yamaha. 

Thursday's second session was held in tricky conditions with the track doing its best to dry out after early morning rain.
This created a big problem for Curinga in particular, who was again unlucky to have problems with the Paton

However, the team came up with a game plan and worked incredibly hard to get the bike sorted during the busy session, and thanks to this and Francesco's determination the required five laps were put in to qualify the bike and rider for the races. 
Despite the lack of qualifying time, Francesco demonstrated the speed of the Paton by being fourth quickest through the speed trap on the run to University, and he was 10th and 8th quickest in the first two high speed sectors between the start and The Metropole, a magnificent effort by both rider and team. 
Combined qualifying finished with Sweeney and Bonetti on the second row with Curinga back on Row 11. 

The Supersport session was curtailed following a red flag incident involving Lee Johnston at Church Corner, with the popular rider being taken to hospital. 
Ryan finished 31st quickest in the Supersport class, and in the opening race of the weekend on Thursday evening there was another red flag in the first Supersport race. 
On the sighting lap of the restart the clutch failed on the R6, and the frustration continued when there was no time to run the first Supertwins race of the weekend, however safety was the most important thing. 

Francesco Curinga. 
Photo Credit: 
Team ILR 

So to Saturday race day with sunshine bathing the circuit, and first up was the postponed Supertwins race, a race that would bring mixed fortunes within the team. 
From the off, Sweeney was riding superbly and was lying in 4th place when he and the Paton parted company on the fast and tricky Dhu Varren section on the second lap. 
It was later confirmed that Michael had broken his back in two places along with his collarbone and some ribs, and has bruising on one of his lungs. 
We at 
Team ILR wish 'Micko' a full and speedy recovery, and will continue to monitor his progress. 


Stefano Bonetti. 
Photo Credit: 
Team ILR 

There was a lot of concern and uncertainty over Michael's condition, and in very trying circumstances the team maintained their composure and professionalism, with the fortunes of Stefano and Francesco at stake for the re-started race. 
Bonetti was soon to retire, but the real story was Curinga's performance. 
As in the red flagged first race, Francesco was again on a charge and to come from 29th on the grid to finish 9th was a fantastic achievement.
For the second race he again found himself at the back of the grid, but undeterred he got to grips with the task in hand to again make his way through the field to finish in the Top 10. 
Stefano made up for his earlier disappointment to finish an excellent 5th, with both riders registering their fastest laps of the week. 
Bonetti also put in the third fastest Supertwin lap of the week at 162.6mph.

In the Supersport class Ryan was again out of luck in Race 2, and retired after two laps whilst running strongly just outside the Top 20. 

Ryan Gibson.
Photo Credit: Team ILR 

Everyone at Team ILR sends their best wishes to all the riders who were injured at the 2023 North-West 200, and we wish everyone a speedy recovery. 
For the team, the focus now switches to the Isle of Man TT Races which begin in a few weeks time.

Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher:
"Well that’s another international North West 200 over, I’ve raced there every year since 1988 and it never ceases to amaze me what emotions it extracts from a rider/team member year after year. 
2023 was no different with various things both on and off the track contributing to this. 
It’s easy to be judgmental and I don’t want to go down that road, but I do think the organisers need to start listening to the teams and not just the BIG teams in order to progress and make the NW a better event to attend, otherwise I fear it’ll lose many of these loyal riders/teams. 
One of our extreme emotions was waiting on the news on Micko Sweeney after his crash in the first Supertwins race, at first we were led to believe it was ONLY a broken arm but sadly that was far from the case as he suffered much worse injuries including a broken back. 
We all wish Micko a speedy recovery. 
Stefano and Francesco rode fantastically even after some niggling machine troubles, and as a team manager I’m proud of everyone at Team ILR for pulling together and not giving up. 
Ryan was going really well in practice but after so many red flags and restarts his clutch gave up in the 1st race so he had to retire, and he pulled out of the 2nd race as he wanted to concentrate on the following Superstock race.

I’d like to thank all our sponsors and team members for making it possible to run our happy little team, to MarkKeikoAsa, JackoMartin and especially Willy and RK for all their hard work leading up to the meeting..it wouldn’t be possible without you all.
Cheers Ian." 


Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments fields four riders at the North-West 200

After a successful Spring Cup at Oliver's Mount a few weeks ago, the focus for Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments now turns to the forthcoming International North-West 200 where the team will have four riders in action on May 11-13.

Francesco Curinga
Photo Credit: Peter Callister

Francesco Curinga will be re-united with the team's Paton on which he won the Junior Manx GP and broke the Lap Record in 2022. 
Curinga will take part in the Supertwin races where he will look to build on his 6th place best result in the class on his debut at the north coast circuit in 2019, and the North-West 200 will also provide him with the perfect warm-up for his debut at the Isle of Man TT races.

Stefano Bonetti 
Photo Credit: ttracepics.com

Joining Francesco on one of the team's Patons will be fellow Italian Stefano Bonetti.
Bonetti is finally getting his chance on the bike having been lined up to race for the team at the 2020 North-West 200 until the Covid pandemic disrupted the season. 
He is no stranger to a Paton, having rode one on his way to becoming the first Italian to win a race in the 90-year history of the North West 200 when he took the chequered flag in Thursday evening's Supertwins race in 2019.

Michael Sweeney
hoto Credit: ttracepics.com

Completing the trio of Paton mounted riders will be exciting Irish rider Michael Sweeney
The 2022 Irish Road Race Superbike Champion and National Road Racer of the Year has previous and impressive experience in Supertwins racing around the Triangle, having registered seven Top 6 finishes in the class between 2015 and 2022, excluding the cancelled 2020 and 2021 events.

Ryan Gibson with Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments team owner/manager Ian Lougher.
Photo Credit: Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments

The fourth rider in the team's North-West 200 line-up is popular Banbridge rider Ryan Gibson
Gibson made his North-West 200 debut in 2019 and, like Bonetti, he was due to ride a Paton for the team in 2020 until Covid stepped in. 
This year Ryan will take part in the Supersport races on the Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments R6 Yamaha.


Lougher and Yeardsley spring into action at Oliver's Mount

Ian Lougher took his Oliver's Mount win tally to 142 thanks to a dominant performance in Sunday's Lightweight race on the LayLaw Racing TZ 250 Yamaha. Ian is pictured with Tony and Eddie from LayLaw Racing. 
Photo Credit: Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments

Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Development's Ian Lougher once again ripped up the Oliver's Mount record books with yet another virtuoso performance in Sunday's Lightweight race at the Bob Smith Spring Cup, to take his wins tally at the circuit to a remarkable 142. 

Spring definitely sprung for the team at Scarborough, as well as Lougher's Lightweight win the team came away with five podiums and a further five Top 6 placings, thanks also to some great rides by his young team-mate Joe Yeardsley.

Saturday's Lightweight races were very much between Ian and one of his former protégés Joey Thompson, with the latter taking the first race by just 0.30 seconds and Lougher breaking the event lap record in the midst of the hot pace being set. 
It was a repeat result in the second encounter with both riders going under the event lap record again, and it took a record lap by Thompson on the last circuit to deny Lougher the race win after he had led for five of the six laps. 

Sunday's third and final Lightweight race of the weekend was a more straight forward affair as Ian, on the familiar LayLaw Racing TZ 250 Yamaha, led the rce from start to finish to cross the line at the end of six laps a comfortable winner by over 10 seconds, and re-claiming the event lap record by nearly two seconds with a time of 1m:56.02s (75.40mph) on his second lap. 

Joe Yeardsley rode brilliantly throughout the weekend particularly on his competitive debut on the Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments Paton.
Photo Credit: Harry Fox

Meanwhile in the Supertwins, on a drying track on Saturday morning Ian put the Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments Paton on pole position in the red flagged session and the first of three Twins races over the weekend took place in the afternoon with Lougher finishing a comfortable fourth, and young Yeardsley, making his competitive debut on the Paton, finishing in fifth after a close dice with Barry Furber.
Ian went on to make it a hat-trick of fifth place Supertwin finishes with two more solid rides in Sunday's races, but the real story was Yeardsley's performances on the Paton. 

After breaking the event lap record on the second lap, he crashed out of the lead on the last corner at Farm Bends with the chequered flag within sight in Race 2.   
Thanks to some excellent teamwork, the bike was readied for Race 3 of the weekend and Joe re-paid the hard work put in by finishing a fantastic third.

Yeardsley was also in fine form in the Supersport class on his own machinery, and he scored his first ever road race podium when he rode brilliantly to better his fourth place ride in Race 1, and finish third in Saturday's second race. 
Unfortunately a blown engine put him out of Sunday's race. 

So a successful and positive Spring Cup for the team, with attention now turning to the International North-West 200 in May.  

Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments team owner/manager Ian Lougher
"After 8 months off since I last rode a bike I’m really pleased the way my first race meeting went at Olivers Mount.
Taking two seconds and a win on Eddie’s LayLaw Racing’s immaculate TZ250 Yamaha. I love the 2 strokes as all the LayLaw team do, so it was soooo nice to get out on a real racing bike and show the public what a true racing bike sounds and goes like.
I hoped they liked the wheelies!

But more importantly. 
I was more impressed with Joe joining us for our first outing together in our 
Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments squad on one of our Paton’s.
It was fantastic the way he fitted into the team, and the results he could achieve after only a brief test beforehand at Bishopcourt, it was great. 
He lost Race 2 when leading after a crash with only 50 metres to the flag after a long hard race. Thankfully he was all ok. 
But I’m convinced he’ll learn from his mistakes and come back stronger. 
We look forward to working with Joe at the Southern 100,  Scarborough, and then the Manx GP again soon."

Joe Yeardsley

“It was great to come away with my first podium at Oliver’s Mount, but missing out on my first win after slipping off at Farm Bends on the last corner was massively disappointing! 
A silly mistake with only myself to blame, this weekend has been a massive learning curve getting to grips with a Supertwin and I’m very happy with our progress. 
I’d like to thank the 
Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments race team for getting the bike sorted for the afternoon race so I could go back out and build up my confidence again with a 3rd position. 
I'm very excited to get back racing at the Southern 100 road races in July.”

Close racing at Oliver's Mount.
Ian Lougher 
and Joey Thompson battle it out over Jefferies Jump during one of the Lightweight races at the Bob Smith Spring Cup.

Photo Credit: Adam Garrett


Team ILR  2023 Spring Cup News

Ian Lougher pictured at the 2021 Spring Cup at the Oliver's Mount corner named in his honour, returns with the Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments Paton to the 2023 event.
Photo Credit: OTTpix

Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments will get their 2023 season underway when they take part in the Bob Smith Spring Cup meeting at Oliver's Mount, Scarborough on 15/16 April, and the team will be made up of two riders with vastly different levels of experience round the 2.43 miles public roads circuit, the only one of its kind in England. 

Leading the team on and off the track will be team owner-manager
 Ian Lougher, the most successful rider in the history of racing at Oliver's Mount with an incredible tally of over 140 wins to his name, ranging from 125cc victories to success in all the feature events. 
At the 2023 Spring Cup meeting Ian will be in action on a Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments Paton, as well as having an outing on Eddie Laycock and Gerry Lawlor's LayLaw Racing TZ 250 Yamaha.   

Ian will also be mentoring highly rated Manx rider Joe Yeardsley, who will be appearing for only the second time at the North Yorkshire circuit having made a superb debut there last year at the Steve Henshaw Gold Cup meeting where he scored three Top 6 places and recorded a sub 1.51 sec lap on his R6 Yamaha in some very illustrious company. 
Yeardsley will also be on one of the team's Patons at Scarborough, and he will no doubt benefit from Lougher's vast knowledge of both the bike and the circuit.

Prior to heading to the Spring Cup, the team had a shake down test at a recent Bishopscourt track day.

Yeardsley and Micko Sweeney tested the Patons, and they were joined by Ryan Gibson on the team's Yamaha R6, ahead of what promises to be a very busy season for Team ILR. 

Joe Yeardsley.
Photo Credit: Rider Contributed
Ian Lougher will be in action on the LayLaw Racing Yamaha TZ 250 at the Spring Cup. 
Photo Credit: Peter Callister


Team ILR are pleased to announce our rider line-up for 2023, a season in which the team will target the North-West 200, Isle of Man TT, Southern 100 and Manx GP, as well as Oliver's Mount and selected Irish Road Races.

Francesco Curinga in action in the 2022 Junior Manx GP.
Photo Credit: Peter Callister

Returning for 2023 will be Italian Francesco Curinga who will ride a Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments Paton at the North-West 200, and will make his Isle of Man TT debut where he is no stranger to the Mountain Course having won the Junior Manx GP and breaking the Lap Record on the team's Paton in 2022. 

Stefano Bonetti at Quarry Bends, 2022 Superstock TT. 
Photo Credit: ttracepics.com

Joining Francesco at the NW200 and TT on the same machinery will be his experienced fellow Italian Stefano Bonetti, a man who needs no introduction having had a lot of impressive results in a long career. Stefano will be right at home on the Paton and will finally get the chance show what he can do on the bike having been due to ride it in 2020 until the Covid pandemic disrupted the season.  

Michael Sweeney: 2022 Superstock TT. 
Photo Credit: ttracepics.com

Another man who needs no introduction, especially to Irish fans, is Michael Sweeney the 2022 Irish Road Race Superbike Champion and the recipient of the National Road Racer of the Year Award at the prestigious Adelaide Irish Motorcycle Awards.
'Micko' will ride a Paton at the Tandragee 100, NW200, TT, Southern 100, Skerries and possibly the Armoy Road Races.   

Victor Lopez: 2022 Senior Manx Grand Prix. 
Photo Credit: ttracepics.com

Spain's Victor Lopez will also take part in the Manx GP where he will ride a Paton and our Yamaha R6. 
Victor made his debut at the event in 2015 and was lying a very close 2nd to Curinga in the 2022 Junior Manx GP when the engine blew on his Aprilia RS660. He was 5th in the 2022 Senior Manx GP.

Ryan Gibson in discussion with Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher
at the Sunflower Trophy Races at Bishopscourt in 2017.  

Photo Credit: Team ILR

Ryan Gibson will ride our Yamaha R6 at the North-West 200. 
Gibson enjoyed a successful 2022 season winning the Ulster Supertwin Championship and finishing 3rd in the Ulster Superbike Championship, and he is another rider with previous links to 
Team ILR having been supported by Ian Lougher and his team at the Sunflower Trophy Races at Bishopscourt in 2017. 

Maurizio Botalico at Sulby Bridge: 2022 Senior Manx Grand Prix.
Photo Credit: ttracepics.com

Completing the trio of Italian riders competing for the team in 2023 will be Maurizio Botalico who will ride a Paton and our Honda CBR600RR at the Manx GP. 
Maurizio was a Newcomer at the Manx GP last year, and finished 12th in the Senior Manx GP.

Masayuki Yamanaka at The Gooseneck on the Team ILR - Mark Coverdale ER-6 Kawasaki: 2022 Isle of Man TT Races Supertwin practice.
Photo Credit: Peter Callister

If ever a rider epitomises the spirit of the Isle of Man TT then it has to Masayuki Yamanaka, and the popular rider returns to the island in 2023 for what will be his third year supported and guided by 10 times TT winner Ian Lougher
As in 2022 Masayuki, the first ever Japanese rider to step on a Manx GP podium, will ride the team's Kawasaki ER-6 and ZX-6 bikes in the Supertwin TT and both Supersport TT's at this year's event.

Joe Yeardsley in action at the 2022 Southern 100.
Photo Credit: Rider Contributed

Manx rider Joe Yeardsley completes the team's line-up for the 2023 season. Joe has only been competing for a couple of years but has already impressed with some great performances, particularly at the Southern 100, Anglesey and Scarborough last year. 
Yeardsley will ride a Paton at Scarborough in April, in addition to the Southern 100 in July and the Manx GP in August.


Oulton Park Report 

Alessio Guarnieri at Oulton Park with his dad Francesco, team mechanic Jacko and Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher

Photo: Team ILR                                                   

Alessio Guarnieri took part in a recent round of the BSB National Junior Superstock Championship at Oulton Park on the Team ILR with Frog Vehicle Developments CBR600RR Honda, a circuit he had only seen for the first time the previous weekend at the Thundersport meeting and a test day.

The Swiss Superbike Academy rider arrived at Oulton for his third competitive outing with the team, and his second appearance in the BSB paddock, in the knowledge that there was no pressure being placed on him by team boss Ian Lougher

Free Practice was held in bright yet damp conditions with Alessio gingerly easing his way around the 2.69 miles circuit, and in better conditions for FP2 he managed to get some valuable track time in on the Honda, qualifying was also held in good conditions with Guarnieri now getting plenty of laps in and this showed with his lap times as he managed to knock 2.5 secs off his best Free Practice time. 

Race One on the Saturday would see Alessio further improve on his lap time, and in Sunday's second race he enjoyed a good dice at the back of the field with Kai Dickinson and Benjamin Wakenshaw for most of the race before the latter dropped back leaving the Team ILR rider to get the better of Dickinson in the closing stages despite suffering from arm pump on the technically demanding Cheshire circuit. 

It was a great display of character and determination from the young Italian, when many riders would have given up and parked the bike.

So Oulton Park concluded on a positive note over the course of a weekend which was less about results and more about the Team ILR ethos of supporting and developing young up and coming talent such as Alessio who has been an absolute pleasure to work with in 2022. 

Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher
"It was always going to be a trying weekend for Alessio with Oulton Park so notoriously difficult to learn.
He did a track day there within the seven day rule of the event the week before, after special dispensation was granted by the organisers on safety grounds as he is so young and hailing from Switzerland.
This helped immensely so he was able to bring his lap times down about a second a lap every time out on track.
With him being the lone Honda entrant it makes it all the more challenging for us also, as we don't have a base setting for such a different machine, plus Alessio being so small and light, but he acquitted himself well and we were all very pleased with his progress.

Alessio Guarnieri
"I really enjoyed the Oulton Park circuit but found it so difficult and different to learn compared with the Italian tracks I'm used to, such as Mugello, Misano, Cremona etc. 
Oulton is so narrow and bumpy and there's no time to rest. It didn't help either that I suffered arm pump, the first time ever and I think it was due to the all-action circuit like this. 
I improved a lot over the weekend bringing my times down, which I'm happy with. 

I would like to thank everyone at Team ILR with 
Frog Vehicle Developments for their great set up of the machine and the track walks, and all the help they gave me, which helped give me have confidence in myself. 

I hope to return next season to do some more wild card races with the team. 
Ciao. Alessio." 


Guarnieri Renews Links With Team ILR At Oulton Park

Alessio Guarnieri, seen here at Silverstone in April, will again be in action for Team ILR this weekend at Oulton Park.

Photo: Team ILR                                                   

Alessio Guarnieri will make his third competitive appearance for Team ILR when he rides the Team ILR - Frog Vehicle Developments 2021 CBR600RR in the BSB Pirelli National Junior Superstock Championship round at Oulton Park this weekend.   

The young Italian rider, who is based in Switzerland with the Swiss Superbike Academy, initially linked up with the team at the opening round at Silverstone back in April, where he made steady progress over the course of the weekend in what proved to be an excellent working relationship between himself and the team.  

As with Silverstone, Guarnieri had never set eyes on Oulton Park, but team boss 
Ian Lougher used last weekend's Thundersport meeting and track day there to give Alessio a feel for the place and to reacquaint himself with the Honda, as well as providing the perfect opportunity to take some valuable input into this weekend's meeting. 

Oulton Park is Round 9 of the National Junior Superstock Championship with two Free Practice sessions on Friday ahead of Qualifying and Race One on Saturday, with Race Two taking place on Sunday afternoon.


Manx Grand Prix Italian Job 

The revamped Manx Grand Prix has drawn to a close and not even the retirement from the Classic Senior Manx GP could detract from what was a very successful event for Ian Lougher along with his protege Francesco Curinga, whose Junior Manx GP win propelled him to becoming the first Italian rider to win on the famous Mountain Course since the great Giacomo Agostini who won the 1972 Senior TT on an MV Agusta.

That Francesco's win was achieved on another famous Italian marque in the form of the 
Team ILR with 
Frog Vehicle Developments Paton made it all the more special.

Curinga was runner-up in the 2019 Junior Manx GP and in keeping with the Team ILR ethos, team boss Ian Lougher believed he had the tools at his disposal to support Francesco and provide him with the perfect platform for success. 
That belief proved to be well founded as Francesco was right at home on the Paton from the opening qualifying session and he fitted in perfectly with the team surroundings, he would go on to top two of the five sessions and was never out of the top three in any of them making him one of the favourites for a race win. 

Carrying the Number 1 plate, Francesco led the way at Glen Helen on the opening lap of the four lap race, but only just from Jamie Williams with Victor Lopez also a threat and at the conclusion of the lap Williams had a narrow lead over Lopez with Francesco just over three seconds back in third. 
Williams was pressing on and he opened up a lead of 14 seconds, with a ferocious battle raging behind him for second between Lopez, Curinga and Chris Moore. 

A slick pit stop by the team at the end of the second lap kept Francesco in the hunt and going on to the last lap the Paton was on the move and the gap to Williams was down to ten seconds, at Glen Helen it was further reduced to just over seven seconds, but Williams fought back to go nine seconds clear at Ballaugh. 

However the hot pace seemed to be having a toll on his Kawasaki and he was said to be slowing on the final climb up the Mountain sector and eventually he was forced to retire at the 32nd Milestone. 

Curinga was having no such problems on the Paton and with a new lap record of 116.475mph he crossed the line with over 19 seconds to spare on second place man Moore to take his maiden win on the Mountain Course to the delight of everyone in the team. 

As for Ian Lougher, well what more can be said. 
Almost four decades on since he graced the podium at the 1983 Newcomers race beside Steve Hislop and Robert Dunlop, he once again stood on the podium on the Isle of Man.
Like Francesco, Ian was always in the mix on the immaculate 
LayLaw Racing TZ250 Yamaha during qualifying for the Lightweight Manx GP class, and he could never be discounted in the race itself. 

After a cancellation on the Friday and a delay on Saturday, it proved to be a race full of further drama with pre-race favourite James Hind, another rider who Lougher has mentored, retiring two miles from home whilst looking set to take the win. 

Ian had slotted into fourth at Glen Helen on the opening lap of the reduced two lap race ahead of Michael Dunlop and Daniel Sayle with only ten seconds covering the top six riders, and at Ballaugh Sayle had closed the gap to Ian to only 0.3 seconds. However, Lougher responded to open his advantage over Sayle to 1.8 seconds at Ramsey Hairpin.  

As they crossed the line at the end of the lap Ian was still in fourth, but his advantage over Sayle was down to just over half a second. 
Sayle's race was to end soon afterwards though when he retired at the Black Dub, and as they reached Ramsey Hairpin Lougher was still fourth, but the retirement of Dominic Herbertson at the 33rd Milestone moved him up to a podium place in third.

Hind's misfortune soon afterwards left the way clear for Mike Browne on another LayLaw Racing TZ250 to take the race win, Ian meanwhile had spent most of the last lap dicing with Browne on the road and he rode a perfectly controlled race to bring the Yamaha home for a popular and well deserved LayLaw Racing one-two, a testament to the hard work that 
Eddie Laycock and Gerry Lawlor have put into the bikes. 

Ian Lougher: 
"I always really enjoy the Manx/Classic TT and this time was no different. 
It was a real privilege to work and help Francesco Curinga achieve his dream of winning the Junior Manx GP. 
He was a joy to work with and spend time with, and to come away with the win and the lap record was just so satisfying. 
Unfortunately my 250 race was cut to 2 laps from 4 because of a lack of entries, which was a bit unfair on the riders in the race, myself included, as I always prefer a long race and not a sprint. 
But anyway it was great to get a rostrum and a one two finish for Laylaw Racing as Eddie, Gerry and the chaps put so much work into their gorgeous TZ250's. 
A 115.6 mph lap wasn't too shabby for an old fella, but feel like I need to up my game if I want to win again. 
Once again I tried my best for John Chapman to get his 3 cylinder MV500 to the finish, but the bike lost some power on the first lap coming over the mountain, so I had to head back into the paddock. 
After waiting such a long time it was to be my first run out on Chris Keay's Ducati 851, but a fuelling issue ruled me out before we could even do a lap, very disappointing but I look forward to riding it in the future. 
I'd like to thank 
Team ILRMark Coverdale and KeikoJacko, Asa, John, 

Graham and all our team supporters and followers. 

Team Laylaw, John Chapman and team, and Chris Keay and Phil
And a massive thanks to the marshals and medics who stand out on the course making it possible for us to race.
See you all soon. 
Ciao Ian." 

Francesco Curinga: 
"Thank-you to Mark Coverdale and Team ILR, great people! and thank-you to the sponsors.
Thanks to friends, relatives, acquaintances and fans! and to the photographers and journalists who allow me to relive every second of this immense happiness! 
And to the everyone who put up with me these two weeks. 
It's a dream... and I still can't believe it. I want to thank EVERYBODY... You believed, motivated and followed me!" 


Curinga links up with Lougher at 2022 Manx GP

Ian Lougher will again be in action when the revised Manx GP makes a welcome return to the race calendar after a three year absence due to the Covid 19 pandemic. 

The former Classic TT name, which was run in conjunction with 'the Manx' under the banner of The Festival of Motorcycling, has been removed and the classic races will now form part of the Manx GP over nine days instead of fourteen.

Lougher arrives on the island fresh from success in the recent Armoy Road Races when he took the win in the Junior Classic race, and he's no stranger to success on classic machinery on the island either having scored a brace of wins in 2014 in the 500cc and Formula 2 Classic TT's respectively.  

This year's meeting will be a busy one for the vastly experienced Welshman as he competes in no less than three races, two of which are on very familiar machinery belonging to two long time sponsors. 

In the Senior Classic Manx Grand Prix (for Classic machines up to 500cc) he will be on the iconic MV Agusta MV500 of 
John Chapman, and in the Lightweight Manx Grand Prix (for GP250cc and Moto 3 machines) Lougher will be riding the Laylaw Yamaha TZ250 for the team run by Gerry Lawlor and former double TT winner Eddie Laycock
A new venture for Ian in 2022 will be his ride on the totally rebuilt CK Racing Ducati 851 in the Superbike Classic Manx Grand Prix (for Classic Superbike machines). 

As well as his racing duties, Lougher and his team will be overseeing the fortunes of Italian 
Francesco Curinga who will ride one of the Team ILR with 
Frog Vehicle Developments S1-R Patons in the Junior Manx GP (for Supertwin machines). Francesco finished second in the same race in 2019 and will have the honour of starting at No.1 this year. 

In all there will be five races for classic machinery and modern-day bikes spread across the Bank Holiday weekend with qualifying sessions taking place this week.


At Team ILR we were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Chris Morton on Monday September 10th 2018. 

"Morty" as he was affectionately known, was a long time friend and sponsor of Team ILR and he will be sadly missed. 

Morty's funeral will take place on Wednesday September 26th at 11am in Coychurch Crematorium, Brigend, South Wales. and our thoughts are very much with his family and many friends at this difficult time. 

Ian Lougher 
Team ILR owner-manager.


Next Event            
20 - 28 August 2023 
Manx Grand Prix 
Ian Lougher
Joe Yeardsley 
Victor Lopez 
Maurizio Botalico

''I really respect Ian and his guys, not only for their success on the track, but for the friendly reception and countless cups of coffee and biscuits afforded over the years whenever I have shown up at their garage.
I am sure that their success will continue.''

Professional Photographer
Graham Ravensdale
2021 Season 

BSB Junior Superstock Championship: Snetterton

Armoy Road Races

British Supersport Championship: Brands Hatch

British Supersport Championship: Oulton Park

Spring Cup: Oliver's Mount

2020 Season

British Supersport Championship: Oulton Park

Oliver's Mount Gold Cup

Barry Sheene Classic: Oliver's Mount

2019 Season

North-West 200

British Supersport Championship: Silverstone 

British Supersport Championship: Oulton Park

2018 Season

Ian Lougher's Classic TT: Isle of Man

Ulster Grand Prix: Dundrod

Isle of Man TT Races

2017 Season

Classic TT: Isle of Man

Cock O' the North Road Races: Oliver's Mount

Bob Smith Spring Cup: Oliver's Mount

2016 Season

Isle of Man TT

Suter MMX 500 First Test: ASC Vairano Circuit

Bob Smith Spring Cup: Oliver's Mount