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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 - Mark Coverdale 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 Mark Coverdale 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." 


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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 - Mark Coverdale 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.

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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 protégé 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 - Mark Coverdale 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 georgeous 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!" 

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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 - Mark Coverdale 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.


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Lougher heads for Armoy 




Ian Lougher is a confirmed starter at this weekend's Armoy Road Races. 

The Welshman made his debut at the event in 2017, and in 2021 he gave loyal sponsor 
John Chapman a great result by winning the 1000cc Classic Race on the beautiful MV Agusta 500 three cylinder machine after a fantastic tussle with Guy Martin in one of the best races of the day. 

That day saw Lougher at his best as 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. 

For this year's event Ian will again have the MV at his disposal and he will also ride a 350 Honda Classic from the respected Davies Motorsport yesteryear racing stable. 


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Isle of Man TT 2022 Report




After an absence of three years, the Isle of Man TT returned in 2022, and Team ILR arrived on the island with four riders lined up to compete on our bikes, all of whom had ridden for the team before. 

In the Supersport class was team regular Joe Loughlin along with Japanese rider Masayuki Yamanaka who was with the team at the last TT in 2019, they were joined in the Supertwin class by Jim Hind and Michael Rutter both of whom are no strangers to the team's Patons. 


Practice week was very positive with TT newcomer Loughlin raising more than a few eyebrows when he lapped at 119.07mph early in the week on the Team ILR - Mark Coverdale R6 Yamaha, and he went even faster when he went round at 120.419mph in Thursday evening's Supersport session. 

Taking on board advice from team boss Ian Lougher, Yamanaka meanwhile was going about his business in a calm, controlled manner and he steadily improved his times as practice week progressed. 

In the Supertwin class Hind, Loughlin and Rutter were all looking strong on the Team ILR - Mark Coverdale S1-R Patons and all three figured in the Top 6 in various sessions, with Yamanaka in the Top 20 on the team's ER-6 Kawasaki. 


First race for the team was the opening Supersport TT and there was disappointment when Joe was an early retirement on the Mountain section whilst riding well, and Masayuki retired at the end of the second lap feeling the nasty effects of arm pump. 


Disappointment makes you more determined, and Wednesday saw four riders take to the startline on Team ILR - Mark Coverdale machinery for a tilt at the Supertwin TT. 

The team gave it a real go and at one point had three riders running in the top ten. 

Jim Hind was in contention for a podium for much of the race eventually finishing 7th, and the ever dependable Michael Rutter was our top finisher in 5th. Joe Loughlin's bad luck continued when he unfortunately had to retire, and Masayuki Yamanaka put in a typically honest performance to register yet another TT finish, and nearly equal his best TT result. 

Unfortunately the second Supersport TT race, which would have seen Joe and Masayuki in action, was postponed due to the threat of rain and low cloud later in the day although it did offer everyone some welcome breathing space after what was a frantic Supertwin race looking after four riders. 


The Supersport TT again fell victim to the weather on Thursday and when it did run it was over two laps on Friday. 

The week ended on a positive note with Joe registering a well deserved finish and picking up the first of what will surely be many replicas, with Masayuki also coming home safely for another TT finish, something he can be immensely proud of. 

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Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher : 

"The challenge of the TT is a massive one… some have their sights set on wins or rostrums, others just achieving their personal bests. 

But whatever it is, I’m glad that we could achieve and at least give our best to our riders in a great team environment, and enjoy the craic and experience it all along the way. 

Joe being a newcomer was very impressive lapping at over 120mph from a standing start in practice. 

But leaving the island with only 1 bronze replica out of a possible 3 he will surely feel a bit flat for him, but I think this will stand him in good stead for the future, and teach any rider that the TT has many ups and downs. 

Jim had a very satisfying first TT, 7th on our Paton and lapping at 122mph and 125mph on his own 600 and 1000cc machines respectively. 

Yamanaka crashed at Jurby pre-tt, and that knocked his confidence somewhat, plus he got arm pump in one 600 race but once he got sorted he enjoyed his experience along the way and vows to be back next year. 

What can you say about Michael, despite turning 50 in April, and getting all the flak about it..just as I used to do..he gave the team the top result of the meeting, finishing 5th, top 'old' man. 

Retuning home and reflecting on the event… I don’t really know what to say in all honesty. 

The TT has changed a lot, but not all for the best I fear, now just like society everything is driven by sensational lap times, top speeds and lap records. 

That’s the way it felt listening to the radio anyway… sorry no radio anymore, I mean the online app. 

Our thoughts and condolences go out to the riders who were injured and those that lost their lives striving to climb their own Everest, whether they were at lap record speed or not, but they lived and died doing what they loved. 

R.I.P my friends. 

A big thank-you goes out to the Organisers and Marshals who worked tirelessly to keep the show on the road...it can’t have been easy. 

And finally as always, a big thank-you to Mark Coverdale and all our sponsors, and to Jacko, Martin, Willy, Dave, John, Joe, Keiko, the 2 Graham’s, and our wonderful Asa for her patience and understanding."


Joe Loughlin:

"I had a great first TT with ILR. The TT is like riding 5 tracks in 1 with lots of fast knee down corners. There is so much to learn so I was lucky to have a great team with years of experience and to get a full 6 days of dry practice. There was a bit of setup needed through practice week but Ian and Maxton had the 2 bikes perfect for the race. Race week was good and bad but I'm very happy to come home with 1 bronze replica. Thanks to the whole team, my family and friends for helping me achieve this." 


Jim Hind:

"Very happy with how the fortnight went especially my lap speed in practice on the twin, results wise I couldn't have asked for more on all 3 bikes, epic two weeks."


Michael Rutter

"Every time I ride the bike makes me smile. Everything went well with the bike just need to dock myself 10 years to make it go quicker."


Masayuki Yamanaka:

"3年振りにTTレースに出場出来て、とても嬉しかったです。

スーパースポーツレース1は、腕上がりでリタイヤしましたが、スーパーツイン、スーパースポーツレース2は、楽しんで乗ることが出来ました。

Team I.L.R. with Mark Coverdale の皆さんのおかげで、TTレースを走ることが出来て、とても感謝しています。

ありがとうございました。

山中正之"


"I was so pleased to be able to compete at IOM TT race for after three years. I retired from Super Sports Race 1 because I had arm pump. But  I enjoyed racing the Super Twin race and Super Sports Race 2. 

Thank you to everyone at Team I.L.R. with Mark Coverdale, I am very grateful to be able to race IOM TT races with you. Much appreciate it. 

Thank you very much for your support."  

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'Paton' the back for Loughlin at North-West 200




It was a successful North-West 200 for Team ILR when the event returned after a three year absence due to Covid restrictions. 

In only his second time at the North-West 200, team regular Joe Loughlin was in action on the Team ILR / Mark Coverdale S1-R Paton in the Supertwin races as well as eyeing a good result in the Supersport events on the Team ILR / Mark Coverdale R6 Yamaha, two bikes he is very familiar with. 

Joining Loughlin on another Paton was race veteran Michael Rutter 

  

Practice was blighted by bad weather on the North Coast, nevertheless both Rutter and Loughlin ended the first 'twins qualifying in fourth and fifth respectively in a session that was hit by torrential rain as it was about to start meaning a quick dash to change wheels. 


Second qualifying on Thursday saw Joe fourth quickest and Michael back in ninth, and on combined times they would start race one with Loughlin heading the second row of the grid and Rutter on the third row. 


Meanwhile in the Supersport class Joe was giving a good account of himself and he finished 10th fastest in both sessions as well as going quickest through the speed trap on the run to University at 176.7mph in Thursday's second session.


Thursday evening's racing was badly hit by the weather with the race programme being affected, however the Supersport race was run with Joe riding confidently to finish a great 9th in very challenging conditions around the triangle circuit. The Supertwin race unfotunately fell victim to a combination of poor weather and fading light with the organisers slotting the race into Saturday's schedule.  


Thankfully Saturday's weather was a lot better but unfortunately Joe and the team's day got off to a bad start when the Paton developed an oil leak on the warm up lap for the Supertwin race and had to be withdrawn, Michael Rutter went on to finish 9th. 

Loughlin showed real maturity to put this disappointment behind him as he jumped on the team's R6 Yamaha to produce arguably one of his best performances at the NW200 by finishing a fantastic 6th in a highly competitive Supersport race, and on another day he might even have claimed fifth place. 

While all this was going on, team members were working flat out to ready the Paton for the second Supertwin race and with 20 minutes to spare they had worked wonders to bring the bike to the line. 

It was all worth it as Loughlin produced another superb ride to put himself on the podium in a well deserved second place behind Richard Cooper, however an appeal by another rider as to the legality of Cooper's J McC Roofing Kawasaki was later upheld, and as a result Loughlin was promoted to his first ever North-West 200 win. 


Next up it's the Isle of Man TT races which are also making a welcome return this year. 

Loughlin will again ride the Paton and Yamaha, and will be joined by Rutter on a Paton. 

Two other riders will be returning to work with the team, Jim Hind will again be on one of the team's Patons, and Japanese rider Masayuki Yamanaka will ride ER650 and ZX6 Kawasakis.

 

Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher:

"Well that's the end of another North West 200, being honest it's nice to get away and back home for a few days. 

I've been either racing or running a team there since 1988, enjoyed 8 wins and many rostrums, but it never gets any easier at the NW, always seems such hard work for the whole team. 

Anyway we had two great riders onboard our Team ILR with Mark Coverdale bikes which made the job much more tolerable and even more so when we came away with a very satisfying win with Joe on the Paton and 6th on the 600, and it was only his second visit to the circuit, this went very much under the radar, for some strange reason�. 

It wasn't a surprise to me how well Joe did as he's a rough diamond that oozes talent, so we were so happy for him and his results and progress. 

Michael's bike seemed to lose its edge over the week so a 9th place finish for him was a little disappointing, so I'm sorry to him for that, but we'll work on that for the next meeting. 

The team now look forward to moving onto bigger and better things at the TT. 

A big thank you to all our team members and sponsors for all their hard work, especially on Tuesday and Thursday working at the start line in the rain. 

Kanpai. Ian. !!!" 


Joe Loughlin

"The North West 200 was an unbelievable week for me. 

My expectations were low going there so to come away with 9th and 6th in the Supersport and a win in the Supertwin race is mad. 

The team were top notch as usual from suspension settings, clutch setup, fixing my crash damage after a small crash on the Paton and as usual the great advice I get from Ian. 

Thank you to the whole team, all my sponsors, friends, family and fans. 

Probably the best weeks craic and racing in my life. "


Michael Rutter

"I was really excited to be asked to ride the Team ILR - Mark Coverdale Paton at the North-West 200. 

And while things might have been a little disappointing results wise, the effort put in by everyone involved could not be faulted.

Ian has always run a very professional and highly respected team and this year at the North-West 200 was no exception, and I look forward to working with Team ILR again at the forthcoming Isle of Man TT races."


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The North-West 200 is next on the race schedule and Team ILR can confirm that Michael Rutter will be riding for the team in the Supertwin races on board a Team ILR - Mark Coverdale Paton S1-R, and he will partner Joe Loughlin who will also compete on the Team ILR - Mark Coverdale R6 Yamaha.


Rutter has worked with the team before and rode a Team ILR - Mark Coverdale Paton at the 2015 Isle of Man TT, and both he and the team recently tested at Mallory Park with both parties very happy with how things went.

The Paton S1-R is always a beautiful sight, and sound, on any race track it graces, not least around the famous Portstewart-Coleraine-Portrush circuit where it has previously finished fourth and third in the hands of James Chawke and Joey Thompson respectively.

 


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Team ILR returned to the BSB paddock at Oulton Park over the May Day holiday weekend with two young riders returning to the team's awning to avail themselves of the guidance and support of Ian Lougher

With one eye very much on the 'big two' road races of the year, Castleblayney's Joe Loughlin was again on the Team ILR - Mark Coverdale R6 Yamaha in both the British Supersport Championship races. 

Linking up again with Lougher and his experienced team was James Alderson who was competing in the National Junior Superstock class on his own 675 Triumph just as he did last year with Team ILR at the same circuit. 

Free Practice saw both riders settle in with James working on building confidence after a bad crash last year and he finished a steady 13th quickest in the standings after both sessions.

Qualifying saw Joe finish at the back of the grid for the Supersport Sprint race with James consolidating 13th place with a quicker lap than in practice. 

Loughlin brushed off his qualifying disappointment to ride well in both Supersport races registering a best place 20th in the feature race, and with strong sector rides and bettering his best lap time at Oulton by over half a second he now turns his attention to the forthcoming International North-West 200. 

Meanwhile despite some bad starts, Alderson had two strong rides in his class with an 8th place in Race 1 and 11th in Race 2. 


Team ILR owner - manager Ian Lougher

"The whole purpose for Joe doing Oulton was to help him get up to speed in readiness for the upcoming North-West 200 and TT road races. 

The mileage and competitiveness of a BSB weekend is just the job to get you ready for that. 

Joe bettered his times from previous visits to Oulton and rode really well all weekend� roll on the NW next week, I think everybody will see a much more polished and prepared Joe Loughlin there. 


James was returning from smashing his shoulder last year where he had to sit out most of the season, so his confidence has not quite fully returned, but despite this he still came back after two poor starts in his races to move from 20th through to 8th, which was very impressive. 

I know myself how it takes time for the confidence to return sometimes, but when you're a young guy all you want to do is get back instantly to the level you were before an injury, so it's a bit frustrating for James at the moment but you just have to be patient." 


Joe Loughlin

"I had a very successful weekend in Oulton Park with Team ILR/Mark Coverdale. 

Ian sent me out in qualifying on the intermediate tyres which was perfect for my confidence. 

I finished Race 1 in 25th place and got a great start in Race 2 where I finished 20th. 

I improved my personal best lap time around Oulton Park by 0.6 seconds, scored a championship point with 15th Supersport 600 home in Race 2 and tried a lot of new things for the North West 200, so a great weekend overall. 

Thanks to the whole team, brilliant job and it was great craic." 


James Alderson

"The weekend started well managing a good couple of Free Practice sessions and feeling comfortable at Oulton Park again, qualifying was strong managing to get down to a good pace. 

Race 1 went well getting down to a 1:41:2 only half a second off my PB so I was happy with that, Race 2 unfortunately never went to plan getting a bad start and dropping back which gave me a lot of work to do but I managed to bring the bike home in 11th place. 

Overall a good weekend getting confidence back and was great to be working with Ian and the team again."

 


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Silverstone Report



Team ILR began their 2022 season last weekend with young Italian Alessio Guarnieri taking part in the first round of the BSB National Junior Superstock Championship on the Team ILR - Mark Coverdale CBR600RR Honda.


Guarnieri, who is based in Switzerland with the Swiss Superbike Academy, only set eyes on the Silverstone circuit for the first time when he tested there in an Official BSB test the week before, but he arrived in the UK knowing there was no pressure being placed on him whatsoever by team boss Ian Lougher, and both he and the team used Free Practice to enable him to further feel his way around the fast, sweeping Northamptonshire circuit and he finished both practice sessions with a best time of 59.49s, three seconds quicker than his fastest time at the test. 


Alessio went even quicker in qualifying with a lap of 58.79s to finish 35th quickest, but there was only one second covering the 16 riders in front of him, so it was a satisfactory first couple of days for the team. 


Unfortunately Alessio got a bad start in the race and from there it was a struggle to make his way through the large field of riders, nevertheless he rode steadily throughout the 20 lap race and he enjoyed a good battle with Chris Johnson, finishing just ahead of the Kawasaki rider and in the process recording his fastest lap of the race with a 59.50s penultimate lap. 


Silverstone concluded with the team and Guarnieri very pleased with their weekend's work, and what proved to be an excellent relationship will resume when Alessio takes part in the Oulton Park round in September.   


Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher

"It was never going to be easy for Alessio to arrive at a BSB paddock and compete with other British and Irish riders who know the circuit very well. 

But as a 16 year old who only started racing one year ago it made it extremely difficult. 

I was so impressed with his progress, especially his qualifying pace, he showed so much maturity and strength of character improving every time on track and even giving great feedback about the bike and set up. 

His dad Francesco should be really proud of him as they fly back to Switzerland. 

Not many lads of that age can keep strong mentally when they are not winning, he showed some great strength and never giving up."


Alessio Guarnieri

"I left Silverstone with a different mindset and a lot of positive experiences being made, starting from Friday I improved a lot since the last test we did the week before. Then Saturday for qualy I improved even more, qualifying in p35...fast forward to the race on Sunday, I had a bad start due to the lack of confidence with the bike and dropped last into the first corner, after that I made up a couple places and finished P25. 

I think this weekend was positive overall because we learned the weak points and good points of this new bike and we can use them for future races like the one in Oulton Park in September. 

With this being said, every minute I spent in the BSB paddock with Team ILR was crucial for my experience as a rider.

I would like to thank the team for the amazing work done, and to my dad who supported me during this journey.. see you at Oulton Park!

 


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Team ILR are pleased to announce that we will be running exciting young 16 year old prospect Alessio Guarnieri in the first round of the BSB Pirelli National Junior Superstock Championship at Silverstone on 15-17 April.   

Alessio will ride the Team ILR - Mark Coverdale 2021 CBR600RR Honda imported by the team from Japan, and which proved to be very competitive when contested in four rounds of the same championship. 

Alessio began his career at the age of nine, driving go karts in the Vortex series, moving up through the faster classes as he gained experience and honed his driving skills. 

It was only as recent as September 2020 that he had his first test on a motorcycle, and he continued testing throughout the pandemic whilst patiently waiting to have his first competitive outing and prove himself on two wheels. 

That opportunity finally arose when he raced in Moto 3 in April 2021 riding a Beon 450 GP. 

It was during this time that he had three wild cards in the Italian Championship, known as �CIV� in the Supersport 600 Series and he made two podiums, a remarkable achievement in such a short period of time. 

With a determination to move into 'full size' race bikes as soon as he can, Alessio has quickly gained a reputation of riding with a balance of safety and aggression. 

He focuses on speed and high finishes while maintaining on track sensibility, and manages to balance the fast paced world of bike racing with his all important education. 

The young Italian rider, who races under a Swiss licence, will initially link up with the team for the Official BSB test at Silverstone a week prior to the opening round.


Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher

"We look forward to welcoming Alessio into the Team ILR fold.

It's a tough job for any 16 year old to jump into the Junior Superstock class at BSB level, but especially so when they've never even seen the circuit before. 

But he'll have full support from us, with no pressure, and I'm convinced he'll acquit himself very well once he's learnt where he's going.

I'm also sure the nimble chassis and smooth engine characteristics of the CBR600RR will suit a young rider like Alessio." 


Alessio Guarnieri:

"The tests and the two races that I will have in the Pirelli National Junior Superstock Championship make me very excited, and I am pretty sure that it will be a huge experience for me. 

If I recall when I started riding the first bike less than two years ago, I couldn't imagine improving as fast as I did. 

My main objective for Silverstone is to get up to speed quickly and manage to be in the best positions possible while understanding the new CBR 2021, this means gathering data in the tests and being aggressive in the race once settled on the bike. 

I am looking forward to ride on such a beautiful circuit in the BSB paddock." 


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Peter Hillaby



Everyone at Team ILR have been saddened by the news that race promoter and Oliver's Mount race chief Peter Hillaby has passed away following a long battle with illness.


Peter was widely acknowledged as the main driving force at Oliver's Mount and in the Auto 66 Club, and he oversaw racing at the North Yorkshire circuit for 40 years through good times and bad, and brought many of the top names in motorcycle and sidecar racing to Scarborough.  

He also promoted racing at other circuits such as Cadwell Park, Carnaby and Elvington and his passing will leave a void for many years to come. 


Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher

"It's not an exaggeration to say that without Peter Hillaby, Oliver's Mount could well have been lost to motorcycle racing long before now, and many people owe him a huge debt of gratitude for that. 

I always found Peter to be efficient at his job, and straight talking but fair, and we at Team ILR extend our condolences to his family and friends at this sad time."

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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.


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Next Event              
Oulton Park
BSB Junior Superstock 
23 - 25 September
Alessio Guarnieri 


''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

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2020 Season


British Supersport Championship: Oulton Park

Oliver's Mount Gold Cup

Barry Sheene Classic: Oliver's Mount

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2019 Season



North-West 200


British Supersport Championship: Silverstone 

British Supersport Championship: Oulton Park

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2018 Season

Ian Lougher's Classic TT: Isle of Man

Ulster Grand Prix: Dundrod

Isle of Man TT Races

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2017 Season

Classic TT: Isle of Man

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

Bob Smith Spring Cup: Oliver's Mount

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2016 Season


Isle of Man TT

Suter MMX 500 First Test: ASC Vairano Circuit

Bob Smith Spring Cup: Oliver's Mount

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