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The curtain came down on Team ILR's season at the weekend, and with no fewer than four riders on show it was a very busy time for the team. 

The team fielded two riders in thePirelli National Superstock 1000 race at Brands Hatch, with young Dutch rider Nadieh Schoots coming on board to link up with Fraser Rogersand Motostar (Moto 3) runners Vasco van der Valk and Joe Thomas


Hel Performance Motostar Championship 

Practice and qualifying proved to be something of a chaotic affair. Friday's first qualifying session was red-flagged after only two laps after Mike Brouwers blew his engine, leaving oil on the track. 

This meant that Saturday morning's scheduled 2nd session became the first and only qualifying session the riders would have, and it proved to be a real test of tyre choice. With the track damp but drying in places, Vasco elected to go out on slicks but pulled in after two lap knowing that the track would get drier. The team waited patiently and when Vasco went out again there there was still water on two parts of the circuit but he still managed to qualify sixth and on the second row of the grid, with his team-mate Thomas on the fifth row in 14th. 

Race One later that day saw van der Valk running in the Top 6 and well in touch with the leaders, however a bit of a moment at the halfway stage saw him drop off the leading pack and into the clutches of Jake Archer. 

The two then had a real battle to the flag with Vasco just losing out on the last lap by fractions of a second to finish 7th in the race and 6th in the Moto 3 class. Thomas meanwhile was in the thick of a six-rider scrap for 13th, eventually finishing 17th but scoring one 15th place Moto 3 point. 


As Sunday's second race unfolded, Vasco soon became involved in a titanic dice with three other riders for fifth place and with Ed Rendall crashing out on the last lap it became a battle for 4th which again Vasco just lost out on despite being the second fastest rider through the final sector, but nevertheless it was another excellent Top 6 finish with 5th place. 

Further back, Thomas also had his hands full and as the race entered the closing stages it was a battle between himself and Richard Kerr, with Joe coming out on top to claim four Moto 3 points with 12th in the class. 


Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship 

Fraser Rogers arrived at Brands hoping for a good end of season performance and, after a good qualifying things were looking good for the race itself. Unfortunately Fraser crashed out in the early stages to leave him disappointed, but already focused on 2016. 

His new team-mate for the weekend Nadieh Schoots used the Brands Hatch race very much as a learning exercise in what was her first time in this class. 

With only a wet test session last week to work on, Nadieh nevertheless went about her business in a sensible, measured way, improving her lap times and feeling more comfortable on the bike as the weekend progressed. 

She too can look forward to 2016 with optimism. 


So the conclusion of what has been a very busy year for Team ILR. Along with BSB commitments, the team also had a presence at various road races including Oliver's Mount Scarborough, the Isle of Man TT, Southern 100, Ulster Grand Prix and the Classic TT. 

At BSB level it was a very satisfying debut year in the Motostar British Championship with Vasco van der Valk finishing 8th in the series and being the only rider to score points in every race, a testament to Vasco's obvious talent, the reliability of the Team ILR 250cc Honda, and the dedication, technical know-how, and experience of the team. 


In closing everyone associated with Team ILR would like to thank all our sponsors for making it all possible, and to everyone for their support, both at the races and on social media. 


Team ILR owner/manager Ian Lougher

"2015 was a toe in the water job to see how things would go in the Motostar (Moto 3) Championship, and I have thoroughly enjoyed being involved in the class, even if it has cost me heavily financially. 

Vasco finished 8th overall in the championship, and has gone from strength to strength, turning from a 15 year old lad at the start of the year who lacked a bit of confidence and set up knowledge, into a seasoned confident professional who lacked nothing. 

Joe although on a slightly lower spec engine, started the year well but had way too many offs, which led to either a lack of confidence or concentration, I'm not sure, and finished in 14th overall. 

Conditions at Brands affected the Superstock classes more than most, so Fraser and Nadieh qualified 24th and 30th respectively, so it was always going to be difficult to gain a good result from there. 

Nevertheless Fraser was pushing on and looking good but when he got a false neutral on the 2nd lap a trip onto the wet grass ended in a small crash, which was massively disappointing to end in such a way, and when we had found a great setting for him. 

Nadieh went well and again was going really good especially when all the elements were so foreign to her, new track, bike, weather and class. She has some guts to give it a go, and we at Team ILR look forward to helping her further herself if we can put something together for 2016." 


Vasco van der Valk: "Thanks to the amazing Team ILR!! Ian, Matt, Jacko, Asa and Richard, also all the great sponsors without them this super result would not be possible. 

Thanks to everyone for all the messages, emails, apps, phone calls, visits to the circuits and other encouragements...it is nice to see so many people follow my adventures." 


Fraser Rogers: "Well another season over and done.. I wont be sad to see the back of 2015, but after the last 3 races I'm excited to see what 2016 has in hand for us!! 

Thanks to everyone that's helped and supported me, especially all my sponsors - Gary and Louise from First Choice Flooring, Simon Whatley at SRS, James Cox and all from Swindon Karting Arena, and finally my mechanic Nick for all the hard work he puts in over the weekend. Without these people none of this would of been possible!!! 

Another massive thank you to the legend that is Ian Lougher and all at Team ILR for seeing something in me and giving me the opportunity to ride the last 3 races in the Superstock 1000 championship. Roll on 2016!!" 


Joe Thomas: "Really good racing this season, every race was a good battle. Don't know my plans for next year but we'll see. Thank-you to the whole team, the bikes were awesome and never skipped a beat. Thank-you to my mum and dad for being at every round, and dad for helping all year, and thank-you to my sponsors for the year, really appreciate everything they've done!!" 


Nadieh Schoots: "New track, new bike, very wet and chilly conditions in FP, but felt more confident by the lap and learned loads and had fun! Q2 was my first ever dry session on the Team ILR ZX-10R, I felt great and made the grid! I had lots to improve on in track knowledge and suspension but I loved it and couldn't wait for the race. I lost touch with the group after a crash in front of me and it was a lonely race after that. I was a bit too careful in the semi-dry conditions, however I was happy to finish 29th and I learned what we need for next season. A big thank-you to Ian Lougher and Team ILR for a great weekend!!"


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          Season Finale

     
Posted October 2015