Above is just some of the feedback from some of the good folks who were in attendance.
You can keep up to date with the latest news on our Facebook page and hopefully we'll see you all in 2021.
Watch this space!!
Learn from one of the best and hone your riding skills to the highest level at the Ian Lougher Track Days at Pembrey in Wales, where you will be under the guidance of ten times TT winner and widely acknowledged racing legend Ian Lougher.
Sign-on at 7:30 ~
Briefing at 8:00 ~
Sessions from 9:00 - 17:00
Lunch break from 12:30 - 13:30
3 groups (Expert, Intermediate and Novice)
6 sessions for each group
(each session 20 mins)
Cost: (*Track Day Discount is available for Ian Lougher Racing Supporters Club members*)
One Day £126 (including VAT)
Two Days £245 (including VAT)
To apply for booking please email
Membership is now open for the official Ian Lougher Racing (Team ILR) Supporters Club for 2020.
You can now show your support for your favourite race team by becoming a member, or by becoming a Team Sponsor.
Membership entitles you to receive discount for our 2020 Track Days in April (4th/5th) and August (1st/2nd) at Pembrey in Wales, where you will be under the guidance of ten times TT winner and widely acknowledged and respected racing legend Ian Lougher.
You will also receive discount on Team ILR merchandise, as well as receiving an invitation to join our dedicated Supporters Club Facebook page and to our 2020 team party at a special price.
Membership starts from £120
Team ILR SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES 2020
Packages available from £600.
In a road racing season decimated by the global COVID-19 pandemic, Team ILR will have its first competitive outing of the year at this weekend's Barry Sheene Classic meeting at Oliver's Mount, Scarborough.
The most successful rider in the history of racing at Oliver's Mount Ian Lougher will be joined by exciting circuit newcomer Jim Hind for the 3-Day event, and the young Lincolnshire rider will no doubt avail himself of all the help and advice he will receive from Team ILR owner/manager Lougher.
Both will pilot the immaculate Team ILR/Mark Coverdale 650 Patons with Hind also competing on the Team ILR/Mark Coverdale ZX-6 Supersport machine in the 600 class.
The young rising star met with Ian Lougher earlier this year and had pencilled in further appearances with the team in 2020 before the pandemic curtailed those plans, however the 20 year old is also lining up an appearance at the popular end of season Gold Cup meeting at the historic North Yorkshire circuit.
A lot of hard work has gone on behind the scenes and everyone involved is to be commended for their efforts in ensuring that racing takes place this weekend.
Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher ~
"I'm delighted to have the opportunity to work with Jim Hind, a young rider who came to my attention at the 2019 Manx GP where he impressed me with not only his obvious ability but also his calm, unassuming nature and hard work ethic, traits that I look for in our team's riders.
At Team ILR we are known for supporting, nurturing and developing young talent, and Jim fits in with our team ethos perfectly.
As always, we will give him 100% support in the next natural progression of his career."
Jim Hind ~
"I'm really excited to be linking up with Ian Lougher and Team ILR at Oliver's Mount.
To work alongside someone of Ian's standing in the sport is an incredible opportunity and one that I know will take my racing to another level in terms of what I will learn from him. I can't wait!"
Ryan Gibson on board in 2020.
Following on from the Isle of Man TT rider announcement for the new season, Team ILR are also looking forward to linking up with Ryan Gibson in 2020.
The former Irish and Ulster Supersport Cup winner and regular Ulster Superbike podium finisher will race a Team ILR - Mark Coverdale Paton at the North-West 200 where he will return for his second visit following his debut in 2019, and the Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod (subject to confirmation).
After excellent performances on the short circuits Ryan soon turned his attention to the roads, and in 2018 he had a solid debut at Dundrod with a 14th place in Thursday's Supersport race a particular highlight.
He followed this up with a strong 9th place ride in the 2019 Ulster GP Supertwin race after an exciting battle with James Chawke on a Team ILR - Mark Coverdale Paton.
Gibson, the son of former British and Irish Rallycross Champion Lawrence Gibson, is another rider who is returning to the Team ILR awning in 2020 having been supported by Ian Lougher and his team at the Sunflower Trophy Races at Bishopscourt in 2017.
2020 Team News
Team ILR are pleased to announce that they will once again team up with two riders from the 2019 season Joe Loughlin and Masayuki Yamanaka, along with Stefano Bonetti and James Hind as the team sets its sights on the 2020 race season.
Loughlin will pilot the Team ILR - Mark Coverdale Paton Supertwin and Yamaha R6 at the North-West 200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix (subject to it taking place) as well as a few selected races leading up to the NW200.
The young rider from Castleblayney was a sensation on the Paton at Dundrod in 2019 when he finished second in two thrilling Lightweight races by under one hundredth of a second to Paul Jordan and Christian Elkin respectively, and lapping at over 119mph.
The highly experienced Stefano Bonetti is no stranger to race fans, and in 2019 the Italian National Anthem rang out around the famous Portstewart-Coleraine-Portrush Triangle circuit for the first time in the 90-year history of the North-West 200 when he took the honours with a superb ride in the Supertwin race.
The fastest Italian to have ever lapped the 37.73-mile Mountain Course will also race a Team ILR - Mark Coverdale Paton at the North-West 200, the TT and the Ulster GP, and he will no doubt be hoping to give a good account of himself as he looks to repeat his 2019 North-West win and also build on his 6th place finish in the 2019 Lightweight TT.
In James Hind the sport undoubtedly has a new star.
Following a Mountain Circuit debut in 2018 in which he was second in the Newcomers Manx GP, 2019 saw the 19 year old make the break-through with a brilliant brace of wins in both Manx Grand Prix Lightweight races, as well as a third place ride in the Lightweight Classic TT behind Bruce Anstey and Davey Todd.
He was also leading the Junior Manx GP race until his Yamaha R6 developed an oil leak, but not before he had set a new lap record with a speed of 121.77mph from a standing start, and he also led the Senior Manx GP on the opening lap until the R6 developed a throttle problem at Ballaugh Bridge.
In 2020, James will return to the Island for his Isle of Man TT debut, and he too will have a Team ILR - Mark Coverdale Paton at his disposal for the Lightweight TT.
Returning to the TT with Team ILR is Masayuki Yamanaka.
The Japanese rider took full advantage of Ian Lougher and his team's experience at the 2019 TT to ride well in the second Supersport TT and register his fastest lap around the TT course with a speed of 115.659mph.
Masayuki impressed everyone in the team with his preparation and attention to detail, and his infectious smile will be a welcome sight as he again competes at the 2020 races on the Team ILR - Mark Coverdale ER6 and Supersport ZX6 Kawasakis.
Lougher Bishopscourt Bound
Fresh from his record breaking exploits at the recent Oliver's Mount Gold Cup meeting where he extended his win tally to a remarkable 140, Ian Lougher now turns his attention to the Sunflower Trophy Races at Bishopscourt next weekend, October 25-26.
It's over 10 years since Lougher last raced at the Sunflower meeting, and for the 2019 event he will have one of the Team ILR - Mark Coverdale S1-R Paton twin at his disposal, a bike that made its debut at the Sunflower last year in the hands of Robert Kennedy, and which Ian himself rode to great effect at Scarborough.
The ever popular Welshman's appearance on the Paton is sure to be a big draw for the anticipated large crowd, and the event will bring Team ILR's 2019 season to a conclusion.
Lougher at the Double
Team ILR Fresh from his record breaking exploits at the recent Oliver's Mount Gold Cup meeting where he extended his win tally to a remarkable 140, Ian Lougher now turns his attention to the Sunflower Trophy Races at Bishopscourt this weekend.
It's over 10 years since Lougher last raced at the Sunflower meeting, and for the 2019 event he will have one of the Team ILR-Mark Coverdale S1-R Paton twin at his disposal, a bike that made its debut at the Sunflower last year in the hands of Robert Kennedy, and which Ian himself rode to great effect at Scarborough.
The ever popular Welshman's appearance on the Paton is sure to be a big draw for the anticipated large crowd, and the event will bring Team ILR's 2019 season to a conclusion.owner/manager Ian Lougher took his record tally of race wins at Oliver's Mount to an incredible 140 when he returned to the circuit for the first time in two years following the abandonment of the 2017 Gold Cup, which subsequently saw road racing suspended at the famous North Yorkshire venue until former racers Mick Grant and Eddie Roberts, and the newly formed Two Four Three Road Racing Association stepped in to revive it in 2019.
Lougher was entered in both the Lightweight races on one of the potent Team ILR - Mark Coverdale S1R Patons and he was immediately on the pace in practice and qualifying on Saturday morning to set himself up nicely for the first race in the afternoon.
In one of the best races of the weekend, Ian took the initiative in the early stages as he moved past pole sitter and early leader Brad Vicars and settled in to defend his lead from Vicars, Dominic Herbertson and former protege Joey Thompson.
Vicars then dropped out of contention and eventually retired leaving a three rider battle for the win with Lougher displaying all his race guile, and using the speed of the Paton, to hold off a fierce challenge from Herbertson and Thompson.
The experienced Welshman wasn't going to be denied as he recorded the fastest lap of the race on the last lap to claim his 139th win at Scarborough by two bike lengths from Herbertson who took second on the Cowton Racing Kawasaki by a similar margin from KrÃ�ï¿½Ã�Â¤mer mounted Thompson.
Just over half a second covered the three riders.
In contrast to Saturday's sunshine, Sunday saw low cloud, mist and rain descend on the seaside resort causing a delay to proceedings, and it was 4.30pm and still raining when the Lightweights came to the grid for the final race of the meeting.
This time it was Thompson who got a flyer but Lougher was soon on his case and he took the lead and proceeded to stamp his authority on the race to open up a gap to Vicars and Herbertson.
Ian and the Paton were unstoppable, and he stretched his lead to take the chequered flag by just over seven seconds and further cement his place in the Oliver's Mount history books with win number 140.
"After two years since my last visit to Scarborough I was feeling very pleased and excited to be back to be honest, as I've had some great races and many fond memories there.
Unfortunately at the eleventh hour due to noise restrictions we had to fit a quieter exhaust system, and with no time to refuel the bike on a Dyno I was expecting a very lame Paton.
But I was pleasantly surprised as the bike didn't seem to have lost any performance.
Saturday's race was close so it was a case of getting good starts, keeping concentration and getting past the backmarkers at the right time.
Sunday was very wet but I always enjoy those conditions and feel I rode well considering I don't ride very much these days.
Huge credit and thanks goes to everyone in the team over the weekend, and also to the organisers, marshals and spectators."
Lougher Scarborough Bound
Former Steve Henshaw International Gold Cup winner, and the most successful rider in the history of racing at Scarborough, the legendary Ian Lougher is once again heading for the Yorkshire coast as he eyes a return to a rejuvenated Oliver's Mount on September 28-29.
Lougher last raced at the circuit in 2017, the last year racing was held there, and his two wins that year took his race victory tally to somewhere in the region of 139 with countless podiums thrown in for good measure over a remarkable 32-year period - a record that will take some beating, if ever.
Ian will have one of the superb Team ILR - Mark Coverdale Patons at his disposal at the Gold Cup meeting, and both rider and bike are sure to be a big draw when they race over the iconic 2.41 miles of England's only roads circuit.
"I'm really looking forward to returning to Oliver's Mount, particularly on the Paton.
It's a circuit I first raced on back in 1985 and I haven't missed a year since, that's something I'm particularly proud of, along with my tally of record race wins.
Eddie (Roberts) and Mick (Grant) and the Two Four Three Road Racing Association, along with everyone involved, have worked tirelessly behind the scenes and are to be commended for their efforts in bringing motorcycle racing back to 'the Mount'."
Classic TT Report
Team ILR's ten times Isle of Man TT winner Ian Lougher paid his second visit to the island in 2019 to take part in the Classic TT races.
As in previous years, Ian again teamed up with LayLaw Racing's Eddie Laycock and Gerry Lawlor to ride their TZ 250 Yamaha in the Lightweight Classic TT, and in the Senior Classic TT event Ian was once again entrusted to compete on the iconic MV Agusta owned by John Chapman.
Practice week could best be described as something of a non-event, with bad weather blighting the practice programme and leaving very little in the way of track time and bike set-up.
A few sessions did manage to survive the weather however, with the Yamaha going well and Lougher near the top of the Lightweight leaderboard.
Senior practice was a different story however with the MV struggling, and Ian having the misfortune to stop twice and not get a complete lap in.
Better weather thankfully arrived for race week, but the hard-working and professionally run John Chapman team had faced a race against time on the MV and unfortunately had to withdraw from the Senior Classic TT on Saturday afternoon, as Ian set his sights on the Lightweight Classic TT in the evening.
Riding at Number 3, he soon settled into his trademark steady rhythm on the first of the three lap race, as Bruce Anstey set a blistering pace to lead the race at Glen Helen, where Lougher went through the first timing point in fifth place.
Ian pitted at the end of the first lap and the layLaw Racing team superbly and efficiently got him up and running again in one of the fastest pit-stops of the race at just over 40 seconds.
The Welshman was riding brilliantly and was now up to third, just 15 seconds behind Davey Todd as the lights showed for the riders at Cronk ny Mona on Lap Two.
Going on to the final lap, Lougher still held third and was 8 seconds up on Jamie Coward, but the threat from behind was now coming from a hard charging James Hind who had earlier received a time penalty for a pit-stop infringement.
As they reached Ballaugh, Hind was now fourth just 3.4 seconds down on Ian and by the time they reached Ramsey Hairpin Hind had moved into third and he held on over the Mountain section to clinch the last podium spot from Ian who brought the LayLaw Racing Yamaha home in a secure fourth, but it had taken the fastest lap of the last circuit by Classic TT revelation Hind to overhaul Lougher.
So a mixed Classic TT bag for Ian Lougher with the disappointment of a non-start in the Senior TT made up for by a fine ride in the Lightweight race.
"The Classic TT is a meeting I really look forward to, it's not just that I get to ride two brilliant proper racing machines, but also get to work alongside two fantastic groups of people, with Laylaw Racing and John Chapman Racing.
I felt so sorry for John and the guys that we couldn't get to even start the Classic 500 race this time, after having a number of issues with the MV 500 in practice, but after a weather torn and short practice week unfortunately we were up against it to get the bike ready in time. Hopefully next time..!!!
The 250cc (Lightweight) is probably the best machine for me, it's a hard class to get the best out of the engine, carburation wise, but the most rewarding when things come together.
The Laylaw Yamaha TZ250 is a great bike and this time I think Eddie and the rest of the guys got it nearer than ever with the jetting, but although I felt I rode well I finished 4th and off the rostrum....sorry chaps.!!
But the most pleasing sight...even though I couldn't stand up there with him, was seeing Bruce back on a bike and climbing to the top...lost for words.
I'd like to thank all the people who worked alongside myself and Asa over the fortnight, we might not have won but we always have great craic."
It was a satisfactory Ulster Grand Prix for Team ILR with the team fielding no fewer than four riders in the Supertwin class. Circuit specialist and 18 times UGP winner Ian Lougher was joined by Joe Loughlin and circuit newcomers James Chawke and Naoki Matsumoto.
The course was hit by heavy rain particularly at the back of the course just as the Supertwins were due on the track for qualifying on Wednesday afternoon, forcing a re-think on tyre choice. The session would see three Team ILR riders in the Top 10 with Loughlin 2nd, Lougher 8th and Chawke 10th.
Thankfully the weather had improved greatly for Thursday's race as Loughlin set the pace on the opening lap.
A five-rider battle for the lead soon developed and at the end of the second lap, and the halfway point in the race, it was still Joe in front but just one second covered himself, Paul Jordan, Lee Johnston, Christian Elkin and Jamie Coward. Ian was also riding strongly in fifth with James right behind him for company. Loughlin still led at the end of the third lap but it was a slender advantage and as they raced down the Flying Kilo Jordan hit the front. It was now a race to the flag between Jordan, Loughlin and Coward with Elkin dropping off the pace and Johnston a retirement at the Lindsay Hairpin on the third lap, and despite a valiant attempt by Joe, at the line it was Paul Jordan who got the verdict by just 0.092s to take his first International road race victory from Loughlin with Coward third.
All three lapped at over 119mph on the last lap.
Ian Lougher finished a strong fifth after being involved in a frantic four-rider dice with Xavier Denis, Jonathan Perry and James Chawke, who brought the third Team ILR/Mark Coverdale Paton home in a fine 8th place.
Matsumoto had a lonely but enjoyable ride in 21st on the Team ILR/Mark Coverdale Kawasaki ER6.
If Thursday's race was exciting, Saturday's second encounter was another thriller with Loughlin again in the hunt for the race win this time with Christian Elkin.
The two grabbed the initiative from the lights and again it was Loughlin who led them through at the end of opening lap by 0.269s with Lee Johnston in third. Behind them a three-way battle for fourth was taking place between Thursday's winner Paul Jordan, Jamie Coward and the wily and experienced Lougher.
Joe still led on the second lap but on the next lap Elkin got in front and led by the narrowest of margins as they went on to their penultimate lap. Despite Elkin slightly extending his lead to more than half a second, Joe was far from finished and he fought back to take the fight to Christian on the last lap. At the Lindsay Hairpin it was Loughlin who led only for Elkin to ride round the outside of him at the Flowbog Crossroads.
As they flew through the Quarries there was drama as they encountered a backmarker at Dawson's, Joe saw a chance to capitalise on this but his brave effort just fell short as Elkin held on to win by just 0.078s. Pau Jordan just got the better of Ian for fifth with James Chawke in tenth and Matsumoto going one better than Race 1 to finish 20th.
"A great week all round at the Ulster Grand Prix, between the people helping me, the team, the people supporting me....and the unbelievable racing!! Firstly getting the opportunity to work with a professional team like Team ILR was better than expected with a great package, advice, and Ian even helping me set up my Supersport bike.
Thanks Ian, Asa, Mark and all the people who made this opportunity possible.
Wednesday qualifying went great with 2nd place on the twin in wet conditions. Thursday's race on the Supertwin was the race of my life with about 10 passes a lap which was fought out to the line where I finished second by under one hundredth of a second.
Saturday's Supertwin race was another close race, dicing with Elkin for the last 2 laps and losing out by under one hundred of a second again. Thanks to everyone who helped me out over the week.
Thanks to my family, friends, photographers, marshalls, medical team and the Ulster Grand Prix Club, Lavina for the sandwiches, and all my family and friends."
"I had a great Ulster GP, first time there and a lot to learn but I really enjoyed it.
I had a great race on Thursday with Ian Lougher and enjoyed every minute of it!
Saturday's race was a bit tricky, I had a bad start but managed get to get back up to 10th overall.
It was a great Ulster GP even if the the weather wasn't great and I can't thank Team ILR and Mark Coverdale enough for everything, and also thanks to Carl Roberts and Dan for all their help. "
そして、最後に夢のようなチャンスを与えて下さったTeam I.L.R. with Mark Coverdaleの
"My impressions of Ulster GP are difficult and also enjoyable. The difficult parts were that I couldn't grasp the circuit condition and it was completely different from riding closed circuit.
But what I enjoyed was that I could understand and digest these things little by little in myself. There are still so many things I have to learn yet, but I hope I can compete it again every year, so I can be level up for it.
I would like to thank Noel, Eddie,Robert and all who are involved in ULSTER GP and also I appreciate all marshals, helper and spectators. All people are so nice and kind to me.
And also I appreciate Team ILR. with Mark Coverdale for gave me a chance to try Ulster GP. It was like a dream opportunity.
Finally, I want to thank Ian, Asa, Mark, Jacko, Dessie, Willie, Robert and all the people who are involved in Team ILR. And the biggest thanks to Sean and his family who have been indebted since their first encounter in 2014. Thank you very much for everything!"
Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher :
"As usual I always look forward to the Ulster GP. It's fair to say it's my favourite circuit on the calendar for me personally.
With a new recruit by the name of Joseph Loughlin on board one of our Team ILR/Mark Coverdale Patons, plus James Chawke and newcomer Japanese rider Naoki Matsumoto on the ER6 Kawasaki, it was going to be exciting but a busy time for all concerned.
With the typical Dundrod weather doing its best to ruin things, with heavy showers turning to sunshine making tyre choices very difficult, plus the fact the twins class only gets one practice session for the whole meeting, it makes it even more stressful.
But with drying roads on wet tyres being the norm it was only Thursday's race that would allow us to use dry tyres. With all our riders acquitting themselves brilliantly it was Joe Loughlin who stole the show with a 2nd in qualifying, following that up with 2nd in both races, narrowly missing the win on both occasions.
His ability on wets is amazing and I'm sure shocked a few people, except for Keith and Donna Racing who brought him to our attention in the first place...thanks both.
James narrowly missed beating me in the first race but struggled a bit in Saturday's race coming home 10th, not bad at all for a newcomer!!!
And he's learning all the time.
Matsumoto san was a joy to work with and I'm so pleased he could fulfill his dream of racing abroad in joining our team.
As for myself I was happy enough with a 5th and 6th I guess...but I do find it difficult these days trying to give maximum effort to our other team riders whilst trying to push myself enough too.
I must say a big thank you to all our team partners and sponsors, especially Mr Mark Coverdale who has been there for us every step of the way. Also to Asa and all the mechanics, helpers, PR man, who made it all happen....very much appreciated thank you so much."
Isle of Man TT Report
The dust has settled on the Isle of Man TT for another year, and there's no doubt it was a TT that was badly affected by poor weather and left many riders with very few laps under their leathers at the conclusion of practice week.
Ian Lougher and his team devoted a lot of time to the team's Japanese rider Masayuki Yamanaka and he went from a steady 109.52mph on the opening night's practice to record a lap of 114.417mph later in the week.
Meanwhile in the Lightweight class Ian Lougher, Horst Saiger and James Chawke opened their account on the opening night with Lougher the quickest of the trio on the Team ILR ~ Mark Coverdale Patons at 115.10mph, with Masayuki on a Team ILR ~ Mark Coverdale Kawasaki going well in 25th.
Race week duly arrived, and with the practice week having been decimated by the weather, bike set-up had become something of a lottery. Masayuki made up for the disappointment of a non-finish in the first Supersport TT to ride well in the second race to record a lap of 115.659mph, his fastest lap around the TT course.
The first lap of Thursday's two-lap Lightweight TT saw Horst Saiger complete the first lap the best of the three Patons in 10th with a lap of 115.87mph, James Chawke was next in 11th (115.40mph) with Ian Lougher 12th (114.46mph).
On the second and last flying lap Saiger in 10th and Lougher (12th) went through Glen Helen together on the road with James in 11th being closely followed on the road by Dominic Herbertson. Positions remained the same at Ramsey and they finished in that order, with Yamanaka finishing in a very credible 23rd.
That left the TT Zero race as the final one on the cards for the team.
Over the past few seasons Ian Lougher has forged close links with Team MIRAI and he was again entrusted with riding their Idaten X RE which was entered in the race in association with Team ILR and Mark Coverdale.
After a disappointing Lightweight TT by his own high standards, Ian displayed true professionalism and at the end of the one lap race it was a popular return to the TT podium for Lougher as he joined race winner Michael Rutter and second placed John McGuinness on what was his 30th TT rostrum, a remarkable feat and just rewards for the hard working Team MIRAI outfit.
In closing, the thoughts of everyone at Team ILR are with the family and friends of Daley Mathison who sadly lost his life at the TT, and we wish a speedy recovery to all those injured.
Horst Saiger ~
"After the NW200 I knew that the Paton 650 is a pretty good bike, but I also knew immediately that we need more time to find the best setup and even more important that I get more riding time to adapt my style and to show lap times that do justice to the Paton 650. But the IOM weather had other plans with us, so I was still far away from the potential of this fantastic bike.
At the end I need to say thanks to Ian, Mark and Jacko for giving me the best Supertwin that is possible and a 10th place in the race was equal to my best ever result at the TT.
My favorite moment of the racewas when I saw my boss Ian in front of me and when I passed him I had a big smile under my helmet - sorry for that! ;) In Practice Michael Dunlop and Jamie Coward passed me, so I saw how fast a Supertwin can be ridden, so I've to work on that for the next races."
Masayuki Yamanaka ~
Team I.L.R. with Mark Coverdale の一員として、マン島TTレースに参加させて頂き、ありがとうございました。<br>レースウィーク中は雨が続き、走行時間が少ない中、イアンさんの指導や、チームの皆さんの働き、
"Thank-you very much for having me as member of Team I.L.R. with Mark Coverdale.
This TT weather was very bad, so there was not enough track time.
But even in that condition, I could race with out any pressure.
It's because with Ian's mentoring, all team member worked hard and relaxing atmosphere in the team.
I really appreciate it from bottom of my heart.
I wish I can compete TT again with the team for next year.
Thank you very much."
James Chawke ~
"Well that's my first ever TT done and dusted and what a TT it was! As you all know the weather wasn't on our side and we struggled to get practice in but we made the most of it.heading into race day and we were good to go as it was only a 2 lap race. It was hard and I rode on my own and I was delighted to finish 11th at a lap speed of 16.5. I can't thank Mark Coverdale and Team ILR for all their help and support. I'd also like to thank my own lads for all their hard work over the duration of the TT, Carl Roberts, Liam Chawke and Richie Kelly.
Thanks a million to everyone who helped make this journey possible."
Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher ~
"I must say the weather and delays this year made it the hardest TT I can remember, I think especially as a team manager it makes it so much more tiring when you're hanging around waiting for things to happen then only to be told the schedule has changed again. I think the organisers did a great job, but it's so difficult in these safety sanitised days we live in.
I was really pleased to work and help Yamanaka san and see him progress and learn, he's so dedicated going out every morning at 4am in his car to learn the circuit, and so appreciative to the whole team. I look forward to working with him again.
Horst had a good race considering he had limited practice and time on the bike and became our top rider in 10th position. I think he was happy, but it's hard to tell sometimes with Horst!
James (Chalkie) is a real star for the future, he's hard working, dedicated, fast, and easy to get on with...a team managers dream rider. There's a lot more to come from him in the future, I'm sure. I myself was obviously very pleased with my 3rd place in the electric race, especially for Team MIRAI as this was their first podium and it was just rewards for all their hard work. The Moto 3 chassis it uses suited me down to the ground. To say I was disappointed with my ride on the Paton was an understatement..we tried a different ride height set up and it just didn't work, making it errm....very interesting to ride on certain sectors. I'm sure I had the Marshalls running for cover coming into Ramsey on one lap, it was a bit sketchy to say the least!!
I'm not sure if it was all the waiting around that lost my interest or what it was, but it all seemed a bit of a joke being a 2 lap race after sooo much work and preparation, especially with the bikes being so late arriving (thank you Mr Mark Coverdale for picking them up in Calais just 3 days before the North West 200 started!!!) top man and top sponsor."
North-West 200 ~ Three riders in the Top 8 as newcomer James 'Chawkes' up a Supertwin 4th place finish
Team ILR arrived at the International North-West 200 with a three pronged attack on the Supertwin class.
Austrian Horst Saiger was joined by event newcomers Carl Phillips and James Chawke, and at their disposal were the immaculate Team ILR / Mark Coverdale S1-R Patons, a bike that set last year's Supertwin class alight.
In glorious sunshine Tuesday's first qualifying was essentially a session for newcomers James and Carl to familiarise themselves with the Paton and the circuit and unsurprisingly it was Horst who was quickest of the three with Carl next followed by James.
However in Thursday's second session it was James who improved the most, bettering his time by almost 7 seconds to move up six places and finish an impressive 8th quickest. Horst also improved his time to finish 6th fastest with Carl also going quicker and staying in 10th.
The Supertwin race was last off in Thursday's race programme, and although the warm evening sunshine had kept the track temperature up, there was also some concern with the possibility of it being in the rider's eyes, particularly at Black Hill.
As they completed the first of four laps, it was Saiger who emerged as the best placed Team ILR rider in 7th with Chawke one second back in 9th and Phillips further back in 13th.
On the second lap, race leader Jeremy McWilliams came off at Mather's Chicane leaving Paton mounted Italian Stefano Bonetti clear in the lead and a dramatic third lap saw Bonetti extend his lead as Derek McGee had a big moment coming into the start and finish area and immediately retired from the race.
While all this was going on the Team ILR riders were making great strides in the race.
James had moved ahead of Horst to slot into sixth just ahead of his team-mate, and Carl meanwhile was getting into his stride after an earlier mistake and had moved into the Top 10. Bonetti still led going into the fourth and final lap and held on for the win, but behind him Chawke was now 5th, with Saiger on his tail in 6th and Phillips 9th, and at the chequered flag James held off a determined challenge from Horst to finish a brilliant 4th on his North-West 200 debut, with fellow debutant Carl just missing out on 7th to make it three Team ILR/Mark Coverdale Patons in the Top 8.
If the weather during the week was sunny and warm, Saturday's unfortunately was anything but.
Low cloud and heavy rain descended on the North Coast from early morning, and a red flag in opening Supersport race was an indicator of how bad things were. Conditions were showing no signs of improving and with reports coming in from riders of treacherous conditions at Black Hill, the team and sponsor Mark Coverdale decided to withdraw from any further participation at the event, with the safety of the team's riders very much at the heart of that decision.
Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher ~
"It was a definite case of last minute dotcom for us to be ready for the North West, with the bikes being picked up in France by our great sponsor Mark Coverdale as late as 3 days before practice began.
So it was with great delight that all three bikes completed Thursday's practices and race without any faults or breakdowns, which is great testament to Paton and our team mechanics.
James had a fantastic meeting and I'm sure opened a lot of people's eyes coming home in a fantastic 4th position beating team mate Horst to the line by half a second after a great scrap on the last lap. Horst made a small mistake on the first lap but got his rhythm back quickly and was pleased with his second top ten finish of the meeting.
Carl was a first timer on the roads and had a really good debut and enjoyed it immensely, but ran wide the first lap at University so lost the tow to the others but recovered to finish in a very respectable 8th place. It was a shame we couldn't have raced on Saturday, but we had to think of the safety of all concerned."
Horst Saiger ~
"To be honest I was a bit sceptical to jump on the Paton on a course like the NW200 without any proper testing, but the small problems we had have been no drama and Ian and Jacko gave me a very well running bike for second qualifying.
I was a bit on my left foot all racing week, so my riding was not 100% how it should have been.
To end up on P5 at the first race was a very good result after a really enjoyable fight against my team mate James Chawke, his riding was much better in some corners and so he gave me a lesson even though he was a newcomer - big congrats to him.
To pull the plug on Saturdays racing was a team decision and I stand fully behind it as Black Hill was just scary and unpredictable depending on the rain.
Now I look forward to ride the Paton over the Snaefell Mountain Course.
Many thanks to Team ILR and Mark Coverdale for this fantastic opportunity!"
James Chawke ~
"Had a great debut at the North West 200 on the Team ILR/Mark Coverdale Paton 650, to finish 4th in my first ever NW200 road race was a great result and achievement.
I can't thank all the Team ILR team enough for all their help making it a fantastic meeting for me."
Carl Phillips ~
"So good to finally complete my first road race race at the North West 200, it was a dream to always compete at it.
I completed most laps on my own and was looking forward to Thursday evening's race, unfortunately a mistake by myself and running wide at University on the first lap caused me to lose too much time to the group in front.
P13 on Lap One to finish 8th in my first international road race I was pretty happy with the progress all week.
The weather wasn't on our side but I was happy with the decision by the team not to compete, I already look forward to getting back.
A massive thanks to the whole Team ILR and Mark Coverdale for the opportunity, it was first class."
Oulton Park Report
The British Supersport Championship made the traditional May Bank Holiday trip to Oulton Park, and for Team ILR'sJapanese rider Tatsuya Yamaguchi it was the second of his two rides for the team on what was again an unfamiliar circuit for him.
However, prior to the recent BSB test there, team boss Ian Lougher had also arranged a one-day test to give Tatsuya every chance to get as familar as possible with the Cheshire track.
Yamaguchi had a steady run in the first of two Free Practice sessions finishing in 16th, in the second session he improved by over three seconds to move up two places and Qualifying on Sunday would see him improve slightly further to finish 13th quickest in the Supersport class, but with the GP2 rider's times included it meant he was 18th on the grid for the Sprint Race later in the day.
The opening lap saw Tatsuya come through in a group of three other riders, and as the 12-Lap race unfolded he became embroiled in a mid-field scrap which at the halfway point of the race included at least six other riders with Yamaguchi lapping consistently in the 1min 41s.
With four laps to go Tatsuya was upping his pace into the 1:40s as he and Ben Wilson broke clear of the rest, and by the ninth lap they had opened up a cushion of almost two seconds on the chasing pack.
It was now a battle to the line with both riders giving 100%, and despite registering his fastest lap of the race on the last lap Tatsuya just missed out on 11th place by little under half a second.
Unfortunately cloudy and damp conditions greeted the paddock on Monday with the temperature barely above double figures, not ideal by any means.
With the race distance reduced by one lap to 15, the riders cautiously set off on their warm-up lap with a red flag soon giving an indication of how tricky things were.
When the race got underway Tatsuya was well down on the opening lap and with a lot of work to do as he was still 17th on the second lap.
A lap later he was up to 16th and with six laps gone he was still 16th but within touching distance of two riders in front.
At the halfway point Yamaguchi found himself in 14th and right on the exhaust pipe of Kurt Wigley with a further second back to the rest of the field, and on Lap 9 Wigley conceded two places promoting Tatsuya to 13th. By Lap 10 the Team ILR rider was on the move and up to 11th when the red flags again came out with a result declared.
Team ILR owner/manager Ian Lougher:
"Asa and myself had been trying for several years to coax Tatsuya across to the UK to try a BSB, but he was under a Honda contract for many, years so was unable to do so.
So when he was released from that we started to work on trying to make it happen.
His pedigree showed in his ability to adapt and learn the circuits so quickly, all the team were very impressed with his professionalism and especially with his feedback of the suspension settings on the R6 Yamaha.
Right now he's back home in Kyoto in Japan, but our aim is to drum up some more funds to get Tatsuya back in the team for some more BSB outings later in the year."
最後にTeam I.L.R. with Mark Coverdaleの皆様へ
"I did not do a good qualifying at Silverstone round.
So even I could be faster during races, I spent too much time passing other riders. Therefore I could not have good results.
So I wished to have good set-up from qualifying at Oulton Park round. But it was very hard to learn racing line and up-down sector there, so I spent much time learning it.
So I could not have good qualify again there.
But I could make 1 second faster in the Race 1 than qualifying. So we tried to make best setting up for warm up session and felt pretty good about machine. But unfortunately, my grid position was not good again.
So I could not pass front riders again quickly, but finally I could pass a few riders. Then I could be closer to front group, but in that time red flag came out and finished Race 2. I really wanted to be better position and finish the race, so I was gutted.
But I am pretty happy with my lap time, so it gave me confidence.
I would like to thank for supporting this my challenge to KOKORO CARE, PlanBee, KUSHITANIi, ARAI helmet, Alpinestars, FixFit, Atto-Lance and Neu Intelesse. I will use what I experienced in this time for my future challenges and I keep this to do my best from now on too.
Finally, I would like to thank all Team I.L.R. with Mark Coverdale.
Thank you for supporting an opportunity to challenge BSB from Japan.
I was able to race with confidence, because you supported every sides.
Also, during my one month staying, you took good care of me, so I did not have to worry about my physical condition management. So I was able to keep my body fit and I could race without any physical problem.
And also thank you for thinking about my food! "
Strong Performances from Yamaguchi at Silverstone
Japanese star Tatsuya Yamaguchi recently arrived in the UK for two appearances with Team ILR, the first of which came in the first round of the British Supersport Championship at a sun-kissed Silverstone National Circuit over the Easter holiday weekend.
Tatsuya only saw the Silverstone circuit for the first time when he tested there a few weeks previously with the team and he used Free Practice to feel his way around the fast, sweeping Northamptonshire circuit. He finished both practice sessions with a fastest time of 57.72 on the Team ILR / Mark Coverdale R6 Yamaha and he also had a run out on the team's BMW in the opening Superstock 1000 Free Practice session, but it was decided that he should concentrate his efforts on the 600.
Tatsuya went slightly quicker in qualifying to finish 13th quickest in the Supersport class to put himself on the sixth row of the grid for Saturday's Sprint race and he had a great battle with Eugene McManus and GP2 rider Jorel Boerboom for 14th in the race and he eventually finished 12th overall in the Supersports for a very solid start to his BSB experience.
The team tried a few different settings for Sunday's Feature race and the signs were good as Tatsuya registered his fastest lap of the weekend in Sunday morning's warm-up session to finish up eighth quickest.
He spent the early stages of the race in a relatively lonely 12th place but as the race entered the second half he began to close the gap to Ben Wilson, and with 10 laps to go Yamaguchi moved ahead and soon opened a gap on the Gearlink Kawasaki rider as he set his best lap of the race on Lap 20 with a 57.40.
Despite closing on Kurt Wigley in the latter stages, the gap was just too much to make up and Tatsuya came home in a very credible and confidence boosting 10th place in the Supersport class.
Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher:
"Silverstone was a very pleasing weekend for the team, and a lot warmer than last year's opening round at Donington Park!!
I was delighted with Tatsuya's performances on what was both an unfamiliar circuit and bike, and his sheer professionalism was a breath of fresh air.
He knew exactly what he wanted from the bike, and his feedback in every session enabled us to provide him with what he required.
His attitude impressed me right from the start and we all look forward to working with him again at the next round at Oulton Park.
First of all, I would like to thank Team ILR and Mr. Ian Lougher.
And also thanks to all my sponsors who support me in Japan.
Thank for all my fans to supporting me.
It was the first time to ride R6 and have never been on Silverstone circuit. But unfortunately the first test was rain condition, so very first dry session was the first practice in the race week.
So I rode 30 laps in one go for making sure my riding feeling.
So I could understood many things, then we could make some progress by it.
The setup was progressing gradually, but Race 1 I could not attacked very much, because setting up was not good enough yet.
But after it, I could have my best lap time during the warm up session.
The Race 2, every riders time are becoming slower because of heat, but I could keep my lap time good. But I made a mistake for starting and it was too late to recover after 20 laps. Anyway next round is Oulton Park, and it's will be my last chance, so I try my best for no regrets my BSB challenge!
Three riders ready to make their 'Mark' on Coverdale Patons at North-West 200
Horst Saiger, Carl Phillips and James Chawke will contest the Supertwin races on the immaculate Mark Coverdale S1-R Patons, a bike that made a sensational debut at the event in 2018.
Masayuki Yamanaka is no stranger to the Isle of Man and he created history in 2015 when he was the first rider from Japan to step on to a Manx GP podium, after finishing a brilliant second in the Newcomers C race. He also registered a ninth place finish in the Lightweight event and was second best newcomer that year.
The 2016 Manx GP saw Yamanaka finish a very respectable 26th place in the Junior and Senior races with a personal best lap of 114.371 mph.
No doubt inspired by the heroics of Suzuki mounted Mitsuo Ito in the 1963 50cc TT (to date the only rider from Japan to win an Isle of Man TT) and many of his fellow countrymen before him, Masayuki loves the TT and in 2017 he overcame many previous obstacles, including a life threatening accident in his mid-40's, to finally realise his dream and make his debut at the world famous event where he finished 49th in the first Monster Energy Supersport race and lapping at just over 115mph. However he was to find the 2018 event challenging with a 56th place finish in the opening Supersport race and a DNF in the second.
Running his own team in recent years with a CBR 600 Honda, Masayuki feels he has more to offer around the 37.75 miles Mountain Circuit, and he has turned to the vast experience of ten-times TT winner Ian Lougher and his team to give him the extra push and guidance he feels is necessary to realise his full potential.
Tatsuya Yamaguchi certainly brings an impressive CV with him, and he has had one off rides at Moto GP (250cc in 1999 and Moto 2 in 2010) and at World Supersport level in 2002, the same year he won the MFJ All Japan JSB1000 Championship.
He was also the MFJ All Japan ST600 champion in 2010, successfully defending his title in 2011, and he has also competed in the MFJ All Japan GP250 Championship, the MFJ All Japan J-GP2 Championship, the Asia SS600 Championship and the MFJ All Japan JSB1000 Championship.
For his two appearances with Team ILR, Tatsuya will have a newly built Yamaha R6 at his disposal.
Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher:
"Team ILR have been talking to Tatsuya Yamaguchi for quite a number of years now regarding him trying some BSB events, but he had an ongoing contract with another manufacturer so it meant he had to ride for them in the UK, this made it very difficult for us to supply him with a relevant machine.
I have the utmost respect for Tatsuya as I know he has the speed to potentially rock the established stars at BSB level, but of course this puts some pressure on us to supply him with a really competitive bike.
Nonetheless we will put all our efforts into this and give him his best chance possible.
I think Yamanaka has struggled with chassis set up the last two visits to the Isle of Man, and this really does zap your confidence when you set off down Bray Hill.
I like to think with Team ILR's knowledge and past experience and rider nurturing, we can bring his confidence level up which will allow him to bring his lap times down in a safe manner."
"I have wanted to compete some overseas racing for long time, so I am very happy to making it happen even 2 rounds of BSB.
I have been talking to Ian Lougher since few years ago, but I thought time has come in this year.
I know BSB is high level, so it is a challenge to raise my skills up, and also I want to learn various things.
Then I hope if some young riders of my own team t2y want to challenge BSB in the future, I want to make the way for them too.
I have never thought about retire from riding yet.
So I will race with my whole body and soul to raise my riding skill."
"I am extremely happy to be able to compete isle of Man TT with the team of Ian Lougher who I respect.
I trust him and his team, so I am not concerned anything about the races at all.
I will do my best with all my strength for the sake of everybody who is supporting me and for myself !"
Team ILR owner-manager.
I am sure that their success will continue.''
Round 3: Brands Hatch (Indy)