Joey Thompson took part in his first 'Friendly Races' at the 2017 Southern 100 and came away delighted with his results after four days of strong team work.
Thompson has decided to take a back seat from the British Supersport Championship this season to concentrate on the roads, and it's a decision that is starting to pay off very nicely for the young, hard working Yorkshire rider.
With the event's most successful competitor in his corner in the form ofIan Lougher, Monday evening practice saw Joey get stuck in from the word go, finishing sixth quickest in the first 600 session but going almost six seconds faster in the second session to finish fifth fastest behind Michael Dunlop. Joey also led the 250's in the combined 250/650 practice session to finish third fastest.
Tuesday evening saw Joey take the Corlett's Trophies Senior Founders 600cc honours in the 100/600cc race with a commanding performance to win by over 18 seconds, surely the first of many wins around the Billown circuit.
And he was again well to the fore in the 650/250 session to again lead the 250's.
Day three again saw Joey in race action where he narrowly missed out on a podium in the Mike Kerruish Plumbing and Heating 250/650 race in which he had a great scrap with Rob Hodson who just got the nod on the final lap.
Joey had the consolation of being the Best Newcomer in the race.
He then had a superb ride in the Radcliffe Butchers 600cc race to again be the Best Newcomer on his way to finishing 5th ahead of Ivan Lintin and Dan Hegarty.
And so to Thursday's traditional Championship Day where Thompson kicked off his day with another strong ride to take 5th in the S&S Motors 600cc race and again claim the Best Newcomer accolade.
Joey then jumped on his TZ250 Yamaha to take another fourth place (and Best Newcomer) in the Ocean Motor Village 250/650 race.
The Manx Gas Solo Championship race concluded Thompson and the team's Southern 100 and here Joey finished 16th and was the first of the 600's in a high quality field.
A great Southern 100 for Joey and Team ILR, and he will take this form into the Barry Sheene Festival meeting at Oliver's Mount' Scarborough this weekend.
The team will also be at Brands Hatch this weekend to again provide support to Team Sandown's Robert Kennedy as he resumes his Pirelli National Superstock 600 campaign.
Team ILR owner manager Ian Lougher:
"To say I am impressed with Joey on his rides at the Southern 100 is a massive understatement.
He rode with the maturity of a seasoned campaigner, and not of a 19 year old in his first season of real road racing.
Not only were his results impressive, his lap times were equally so.
He's also very good with his feedback of the bike settings, and can jump from a four stroke to a two stroke with ease, I'm mega impressed."
"The Southern 100 was a great event for me and all at Team ILR.
We all gained confidence in my riding ability and I also gained confidence in my team's ability setting the bikes up for me to ride.
Both the Team ILR Kawasaki and the JTR THOMPSONS 250 ran amazing and we got some good results and proved that it won't be long until I'm a contender for race wins.
Once again I would like to thank all the team for a great week, my dad, all my sponsors and supporters for being behind me.
Roll on Oliver's Mount!"