With the new season fast approaching, Team ILR are pleased to announce their rider personnel for 2017.

Joining the team will be Joey Thompson and Ozzy Madey, whilst Sam Laffins will avail of the experience and expertise of team manager Ian Lougher in a coaching capacity.

Joey Thompson will be in Team ILR colours for his second season in the highly competitive and exciting British Supersport Championship, a series that is a new venture for the team and one that will bring increased media exposure.

Joey cut his racing teeth in motocross before moving on to the tarmac at the age of 11 where he was very successful at Aprilia Superteen and 600cc Elite Club Championship level. Thompson finished ninth in the 2014 British Motostar Championship scoring points in nine races, with a sixth place at Oulton Park being a particular highlight.

Riding for Team ILR has also presented the 18 year old Yorkshire lad with the opportunity to make his debut at the Isle of Man TT races where he will rely on, and benefit greatly from, the presence of highly respected 10 times TT winner 
Ian Lougher in his corner. 

Team ILR will run Thompson on a Kawasaki ZX-6R 
in the two four-lap Monster Energy Supersport races, where heíll be the youngest rider on the Glencrutchery Road at TT 2017.

Although he will be making his TT debut this year, nevertheless Thompson is no stranger to Oliverís Mount, Scarborough where he won all eight races he entered in 2016. He took the Stu Reed Lightweight Trophy, won in the past by Lougher, on a Moto 3 Honda as well as victory in the Phil Mellor Trophy race on a 250cc Yamaha. 
In addition to the Isle of Man TT and British Supersport Championship, Thompson will compete in the three big Oliverís Mount race meetings, beginning with the Spring Cup National Road Races in April, and he will also debut at the International North-West 200, all of which will be used as preparation for the TT.

Schoolboy Sam Laffins hails from Dromara Co. Down, home of the famous Dromara Destroyers, and in 2017 Sam will compete in the KTM 390 RC Cup Series.
Sam only began racing in June 2016 in the 300 Production Class, and his progress in such a short space of time has been impressive.

At the Neil Robinson Memorial at Kirkistown in July he registered two third place finishes.
Then in September at the Davy Wood Memorial, on his first visit to Bishopscourt, he had a second and a first place to his credit with a fastest lap of the race thrown in for good measure.

He finished 2016 on a high at the Sunflower Trophy races where he was second in the first Junior Cup race with a new lap record for the class, and winning the second race.
He also finished second in the Belfast and District Motor Club Junior Cup Championship.

Laffins will be under the mentorship of Ian Lougher in 2017, and it's a move that will only serve to further enhance his growing reputation and racing career. 

Team ILR owner/manager Ian Lougher:
"The 2017 season is looming fast and I'm delighted to be moving forward with our plans, and pleased to be able to announce that Team ILR are keeping with the ethos of bringing on new riders who necessarily don't have the huge budgets, but have the talent.
It's good to see that for 2017 we have a couple of hungry riders who really want to get out there and get stuck in. They are all obviously very young (especially Sam) and on a massive learning curve, but hopefully with a lot of determination and willpower they can achieve their goals with us.
For Joey tackling the TT for the first time is no mean feat, but he has the right attitude towards it, and he knows this year is to go and enjoy it and chip away at it during the fortnight steadily bringing his times down
He's been over to the Isle of Man regularly driving around the circuit and generally doing his homework on the place, so we'll see how he gets on with it."

Joey Thompson:
"I am really looking forward to joining Team ILR, I think the team has a very good set-up and has the knowledge and experience to give me the best opportunity to do well.
I am happy to have Ian helping me on the roads as well, and i think the experience of a 10-times TT winner will help me a lot!
I can't wait to get stuck into the British Supersport Championship and see if we can get some good results.
Thanks to Ian and Team ILR for giving me the opportunity, and another thank-you to all my family and personal sponsors 
for making this possible.
See you at Round 1." 

Ozzy Madey:
"I'm really looking forward to working with Ian and his team. I feel that the knowledge, and in particular the rider development training Ian is able to offer, is something that I sorely missed last season.
The obvious aim for me this year is to become a regular top 10 finisher at least by the mid-way point in the season, and finish the year with good momentum to carry into 2018, when I move up to a Superstock 1000 machine.

Sam Laffins:
"I only began racing last June and to have a legend in the sport like 
Ian Lougher coaching me this year is brilliant, and it goes with the ethos of Team ILR bringing on new talent into the sport!! It has really given me confidence and encouragement for 2017 and I can't wait for the season to start.
Thanks to Ian and my family as well as my sponsors