Welcome to Ian Lougher.com

Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher rolled back the years at Dundrod with his 51st podium around the famous circuit thanks to a superb third place finish in the Supertwin race. 
It was also his 41st podium finish at the Ulster Grand Prix as he closes in on the late Joey Dunlop's tally of 44. 

Lougher's competitive return to the event after a five year absence was greeted with a universal and genuine warm welcome for one of the event's outstanding competitors, and he soon showed he had lost none of his sharpness around the 7.4 miles circuit. 

In an opening Supertwin qualifying session he registered the tenth quickest time and clocked the fastest speed through the speed trap at 158.1mph despite a clutch problem on his Paton. 

Ominous looking clouds over Lough Neagh on Thursday soon brought heavy rain to the circuit just as the Supersport race started and the Clerk of the Course Noel Johnston wisely brought a halt to proceedings. 
A lengthy delay ensued as the rain continued with standing water becoming a concern, not to mention the 'river' of water in the Team ILR awning! 

It was well past 6pm as the Superwins took to the circuit with Adam McLean grabbing an early lead closely pursued by Christian Elkin as the two quickly pulled clear of the chasing pack including, from the third row of the grid and Lougher in fourth. 

On the second lap a three-way battle for third was shaping up between Michael Sweeney, Davey Todd and Ian and on lap three McLean had pulled away and would go on to take the win from Elkin, but the excitement was the dice for third with half a second covering Todd, Lougher and Sweeney. 

As they went on to their last lap, Lougher had moved into third and he was able to use the speed of the Paton down the Flying Kilo to maintain the advantage towards Leathemstown. 
Calling on all his guile and experience in the tricky conditions, Ian led out of the Lindsay Hairpin and the crowd cheered him on through the Quarries section as he brilliantly held on to cross the line a very popular third with under two tenths of a second covering the trio. 
Ian was also the fastest rider through the Flying Kilo speed trap at 154.8mph with Ian joint second fastest on 152mph along with Michael Sweeney and Xavier Denis. 

AsSaturday race-day wore on the weather deteriorated further, with rain and poor visibility at the back and highest part of the circuit, and after lengthy delays the organisers took the only course of action they could and cancelled the remainder of the meeting. 

So a very challenging Ulster Grand Prix 2018 for all concerned, and in closing the thoughts of everyone at Team ILR/Ian Lougher.com are with the family and friends of Fabrice Miguet who tragically lost his life following a crash in the Superstock race, and we wish a speedy recovery to the other riders who were injured during the event. 

Ian Lougher
"We had a few clutch issues on both of the Paton's in practice but managed to fix them for Thursday's race. 
Although I don't like it when people decide to make comebacks in racing I couldn't resist the chance to ride our team sponsor Mark Coverdale's beautiful Paton twin around Dundrod. 
It's been 5 years since I raced there and I was really looking forward to riding it again. 
The biggest problem I had was being over cautious on the opening lap as we had to fit a brand new unscrubbed rear wet after the warm up lap, but I had a good dice with Michael Sweeney and Davy Todd for third place from which I was well pleased to get on the rostrum.


Team ILR will have a two rider presence at the 2018 Ulster Grand Prix when Ian Lougher returns to the event in August to partner Joey Thompson in the Supertwin class on the Team ILR/Mark Coverdale Patons

Ian is one of the most successful riders ever around the historic Dundrod circuit having notched up 18 race wins, second only to Joey Dunlop in the all-time list of winners, and he is also just one podium placing behind Dunlop on 43. 
He took his first Ulster GP win in 1998 in the opening 250cc race, although his first podium was six years previously in the 1992 125cc race, a class he went on to win four times as well as tasting victory over the following years in the Superbike, Superstock/Production, Supersport and 250cc classes. 

Only 11 riders have claimed three or more victories at Dundrod in one day and Lougher has the distinction of claiming a double hat-trick of race wins in 2002 and 2005 respectively. 
And it's not the only type of treble he has enjoyed at Dundrod, having picked up the Man of the Meeting Award on three occasions in 2002, 2003 and 2005. 

In the 2002 Superbike race, Ian broke the existing lap record on the fourth lap with a speed of 127.82 mph to finally better Tom Herron's 127.63mph lap at the 1978 North-West 200, thereby elevating the Ulster Grand Prix to the status of being the Fastest Road Race in the British Isles at that time. 
Subsequentlly, he went on to become a member of the '130mph plus' Club with a lap of 130.873mph in the 2012 Superstock race, and his 125cc race record of 110.719mph on the Barnes/Jackson Racing 125 Honda in 2009 still stands as the benchmark for this class. 

So revered is Ian's name at Dundrod that, in 2009 the organisers of the Ulster GP committee bestowed the ultimate road racing honour upon him by announcing that they were re-naming the blisteringly fast Budore Corner in recognition of his racing achievements, and since then this famous section of the 7.4 miles circuit has been known as Lougher's. 

The Welshman, who made Northern Ireland his home in 2001, last raced at Dundrod in 2013 where he won the Ultra-Lightweight race from Christian Elkin and Paul Jordan, and shortly afterwards he announced his retirement from 'full-time racing'. 
He has however continued to compete in carefully selected races and has continued to support 'The Ulster' by bringing Team ILR to the event when possible and running riders with the calibre of Horst Saiger and of course Joey Thompson. 

Thompson will be making his second appearance at Dundrod after a sensational debut last year when he romped to victory in the Dundrod 150 National race on the Thursday of UGP Bike Week, and Saturday race day saw him podium Adrian Nettleship's 125 Honda when he scored a brilliant third place in the Ultra-Lightweight race. 

He then had an impressive outing in the first Supersport encounter to come from 20th on the grid and bring the Team ILR/Thompsons ZX-6 home in 12th place, and he went two places better in the second race where, but for a false neutral at Leathemstown and having to take to the grass, he could have been higher placed. 

His performances that day deservedly clinched him the meeting's Best Newcomer Award, the second time in two years that Team ILR has achieved this, with Saiger claiming it in 2015. 

As well as the Supertwin entry, Joey will compete in the Supersport and 250cc classes at Dundrod. 


Team ILR can announce that team owner-manager Ian Lougher will compete at the 2018 Isle of Man TT races.

The 10-times TT winner will renew links with TEAM MIRAIwhen he spearheads their entry in the SES TT Zero race on Wednesday, June 6th. 

Lougher last rode for the Japanese outfit in 2013.
In extremely difficult circumstances, he took over the reigns of the Komatti-Mirai bike from his good friendYoshinari Matsushita who tragically lost his life in a practice crash at Ballacrye.

The vastly experienced Welshman brought the bike home for a top six finish, in what was an emotionally charged, professional performance, 

TEAM MIRAI is an ambitious, friendly, private business that has a mission to 'contribute to society by developing vehicles that do not emit the next generation of carbon dioxide.' 
The company C/O Mr. Yoshihiro Kishimoto decided to try the TT again in 2018 with his new EV bike which brings to the table a very small machine, but with aggressive power using a NSF250 chassis.

Mr. Kishimoto himself competed in Pikes Peak in the USA, and he also competed at the Cemetery circuit in New Zealand among engine machines in 2017 finishing with two very respectable 5th and 6th places. 

It will again be a busy fortnight for Lougher as he will oversee the challenge of the team's young gun Joey Thompson who will be competing in his second TT races.

Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher:  
"I'm quite intrigued and looking forward to riding Kishimoto san's electric bike at the TT again, although this bike is a totally new machine from 2013.
I was lucky to be able to test the machine while I was in Japan recently, it was not an ideal test as it was only one degree above freezing but it was still good to get a general feel of it.
It's very small as it's based around a Moto 3 Honda chassis, which is great for me as I have plenty of experience riding one of those, so I'll get tucked in and see how we get on."

TEAM MIRAI owner-manager Mr. Yoshihiro Kishimoto:
"I am extremely pleased that my team is planning to come back to TT  Zero for the first time in five years.
At our last participation in TT  Zero in 2013 during our final preparation for the machine "TT Zero 13", we heard the news of Yoshinari Matsushita's accident while we were in London.
Our team had to face the heaviest difficult decision after our rider died during practice for the Isle of Man TT.
But Ian Lougher who was a close friend of Yoshinari decided to ride for him and he finished the race well.
This year, I am very proud that Ian and our team can come together again for the TT  Zero race.
Of course, Yoshinari will also participate together in our minds.
We are just a small independent team from Japan, please support us and our rider Ian Lougher.
Thank you." 

                               TEAM MIRAI website link: http://ev-mirai.com


Ian Lougher

With a motorcycle racing career stretching back to 1982, the vastly experienced Welshman is something of a legend in his chosen profession.

Among his many achievements are 10 Isle of Man TT wins, 8 International North West 200 titles (the only rider to win the 125cc race five years in succession round the 'Triangle' circuit), 18 Ulster Grand Prix victories, 34 Southern 100 (Isle of Man) race wins, the outright circuit win record of race wins at Oliver's Mount, England's only 'pure'road race track.

He also holds the record for TT replicas presented to any TT racer in the history of the event, and 2010 saw him go to the line for his 100th TT start, a figure which has risen since then.

In the past few years Ian has successfully combined his own racing career with that of team owner-manager of Team ILR, a challenging role which he both relishes and enjoys immensely.

Retirement in 2013 from full-time racing allowed Ian even more time to focus on team management, however he is still a force at the selected events he competes at.
2016 saw Ian come out of TT retirement to race the Suter MMX 500 and spearhead the renowned motorcycle company's exciting Isle of Man TT project on what proved to be one of the most talked about bikes at the famous festival, and in 2018 Lougher has again been entrusted with this role by Suter. 

On the premier domestic championship scene, Ian will again take his highly respected Team ILR into the BSB paddock in 2018 where, in keeping with the team's ethos, three talented young riders will continue to benefit immensely from his experience.  


2017 News.
August 2017: Lougher 2nd in Lightweight Classic TT...
July 2017: 'Newcomer' Ian competes at Armoy...Report
April 2017: Successful Spring Cup for Team ILR as Lougher adds to Oliver's Mount race win tally...Report
Ray Cowles
An Appreciation

Yoshinari Matsushita
A tribute