Silverstone was the latest stop in Team ILR's busy season and the team were delighted to welcome back Robert Kennedy who returned after a 12 week injury lay-off to partner Joey Thompson in the British Supersport Championship. 
Joey himself was returning to the championship after a summer spent concentrating on the roads. 

Both riders used Free Practice to feel their way back into action but Robert still managed to post the 11th quickest Supersport time in the first session with Joey 22nd quickest of the 600's, and the second session would see both riders improve their times with Thompson in particular upping his speed. 
Unfortunately qualifying took place in damp conditions which gave both riders no chance of a further improvement and it was Robert who fared better in the session to finish 19th for a 7th row start in Saturday's Sprint race with Joey in 28th. 

Two laps into the 18-lap Sprint race and it was Thompson who got the better start to move up two places to 21st with Kennedy having had a bad start lying three places and 2.5 seconds behind his team-mate, however at third race distance Robert was making progress and was up into 22nd, with Joey one place ahead by 0.89s and at the halfway point the two had their sights on Dutch GP2 competitors Jorel Boerboom and Mike Brouwers.

It was Kennedy who first got ahead of Brouwers on Lap 11 followed a lap later by Joey, as Robert then passed and moved clear of Boerboom who managed to keep Joey at bay as both Team ILR riders took the chequered flag 17th and 18th respectively in the Supersport class. 

Robert and Joey's performances in ther Sprint race moved them both up the grid for Sunday's Feature race which soon saw Kennedy in contention with a group of riders for a Top 10 placing. 
However the rear tyre on his R6 Yamaha began to cut up badly and he had no choice but to back off the pace, despite this he came home 14th (12th in the Supersport class) to bring his weekend to a positive conclusion as he looks to finish the season strongly. 

Thompson meanwhile was involved in his own battle further back with Matthew Wigley with the two battling it out for most of the 26 lap race, it was a battle from which Joey came out on top to claim 16th in the Supersports. 

The action moves to Oulton Park this weekend. 

Team ILR owner/manager Ian Lougher
"It was always going to be a catch up weekend for both Joey and Robert. Joey has been busy with his pure road racing exploits which means he hasn't ridden on the short circuits since Oulton Park in May, which definitely affected him, taking the first two sessions to get confident again and push like the others do from week to week. 
But he dug deep on his Mark Coverdale backed ZX6 and had two good races on quite an aggressive and attacking track to ride. 
Oulton beckons next week and he likes the track a lot so should be strong there. 

RK was in a similar situation having had to sit out the last 4 rounds due to a serious knee injury picked up at the Snetterton round in June. 
He found it hard to get a good setting on the R6 especially with qualifying being wet and very greasy, so ending up 23rd on the grid really hurt his potential in the dry. Come Sunday though we found a great setting on the bumpy track for him and he was up to 11th with 5 or so laps to go when he had to back off due to a vibration from the rear tyre which was breaking up, so he was very lucky to bring it home in a very sensible 14th place and the bike in one piece, unlike some of the others who weren't so lucky and crashed out due to the same problem." 

Robert Kennedy
"It was great to be back racing again after being injured at Snetterton. 
I didn't think I would be back so soon, but thanks to everyone who helped with my recovery to get back on a bike. 
During the weekend we struggled with bike issues, but my dad and Willie and Ian worked hard all weekend to get them sorted. I've enjoyed being back on the bike this weekend and hopefully I can look forward to the remainder of the Championship. 
Thanks to all at Team ILR and all my sponsors, I couldn't do this without them." 

Joey Thompson
"The first weekend back at BSB after the roads was never going to be the easiest and Silverstone put me to the test!! 
Setting up a bike I've not ridden since May, various weather conditions and a new track meant I qualified 28th for the Sprint Race (definitely not my best) and moving to 23rd on the grid for the Feature Race on Sunday I had some work to do. 
But finishing 16th overall in Race 2, I'm happy with the results. 
Now I'm looking forward to Oulton Park next weekend with Team ILR, a favourite track of mine in the BSB calendar. 
A huge thanks to Mark Coverdale and all my personal sponsors for getting me on track." 


     September 2018