Race report Oulton Park 2017

Welcome to TeamMTR’s latest newsletter for the 2017 season. Round 3 of the Ducati TriOptions Cup was held at Oulton Park, followed by Round 3 of the EMRA Championship at Mallory Park. Ducati TriOptions Cup Round 3 of the season came only two weeks after the successful Round 2 at Brands Hatch. Mike and the team were keen to continue their progress up the field, and gather some more championship points.

Mike qualified a disappointing 19th on the grid. Having missed out on the official BSB test day 10 days earlier, it was clear to see that the riders that did attend the test day were already well up to speed and had a clear advantage over Mike in their overall bike setup.

Race 1
Having struggled with bike setup all weekend, the aim was to simply get some points to continue the teams impressive start to the season. With some big bike changes made overnight, Mike was determined to move up the field and gain some important points. A good solid race, and a slice of luck due to some fallers up ahead, Mike crossed the line in an impressive 12th.

Race 2
With Race 1’s result from the previous day, this elevated Mike up to 11th on the grid, making it the teams best grid position. With Race 2 being shown live on Eurosport, this was a great opportunity for Mike to try and get into the top 10, and gain a bit more coverage. A good start elevated Mike into 10th place, and he was able to maintain that position for the first couple of laps. However, his pace dropped off, and he unfortunately dropped back down to 15th, gaining the last available championship point.

EMRA Superstock Championship
After missing Round 2 of the EMRA Superstock Championship in April, TeamMTR were back in action at Mallory Park for Round 3 of the series. After finishing 2nd and 1st in the first EMRA meeting of 2017, Mike was looking to grab some more points for the overall Superstock Championship, and consolidate a top 3 finish at the end of the season.
Race 1
After making a mistake on the tyre choice for qualifying, Mike started race 1 in a lowly 16th on the grid. A good start saw Mike into the top 10 after the first lap, and he continued his progress to finish 6th, adding to the championship points tally
Race 2
Due to the race 1 result, Mike was able to start from 10th on the grid, giving the team a better chance of a podium finish. Another good start allowed Mike to move up the field, and move into 2nd place. Mike held this spot until the bike suffered its first ‘minor’ mechanical failure of the season. This forced Mike to run on at 2 of the corners, therefore moving him down to 4th where he finished.

A difficult weekend at Oulton Park was followed up by a much more constructive meeting for the EMRA Championships. Having made the best of a difficult race meeting, being able to continue TeamMTR’s impressive points scoring in every race was the only real highlight of a frustrating weekend for Mike and the team. It was clear to see that Mike had lost out on some valuable track time at the official test meeting a couple of weeks before, but due to the teams stretched budget, it was simply something that the team couldn’t afford at this point in the season. This realistically put TeamMTR a good couple of steps behind the opposition when it came to the race meeting taking place. This is something that the team will try to address for future meetings, but as always with these kind of things, a lot depends on the teams budget for the season.

As for the EMRA Superstock Championship, it was another solid points scoring result, and was a great way to add to the teams overall championship standings. The next Ducati TriOptions Cup meeting is at Snetterton 300 on 30th June-2nd July. If you wold like any tickets for this meeting, feel free to contact Mike.

Once again, TeamMTR would like to thank all their partners for their continued support during the debut season in the Ducati TriOptions Cup. Championship Standing

Ducati TriOptions Cup-12th, 22 points
EMRA Superstock 1000cc-3rd, 36 points


Brookes to contest Lightweight TT for IEG/KMR Kawasaki

KMR Kawasaki have made their final signing for the 2017 Isle of Man Lightweight TT race with former British Superbike Champion Josh Brookes contesting the four-lap race onboard Ryan Farquhar’s IEG/KMR Kawasaki.

The Australian, who will be making his first appearance in the class, will campaign the bike originally earmarked for Hudson Kennaugh and which Michael Rutter took to first and second place finishes at the recent North West 200 road races. Riding for three-time TT winner Farquhar, Rutter also became the first rider to lap the Triangle circuit at more than 110mph.

With Kennaugh withdrawing from the event and Brookes keen to extend his 2017 race schedule around the Mountain Course, which will see him line up in the Superbike and Senior races for Norton Racing, the 2015 BSB Champion, currently lying fourth in this year’s table, struck a deal with Farquhar at the NW200 and has every chance of claiming a top six finish, at least.

The 33-year old, who will be making his third appearance at the TT, will be the fourth rider in an already formidable looking line-up at KMR Kawasaki that also features Lee Johnston, Peter Hickman and Danny Webb. It’s a team packed with talent and pedigree and one that Farquhar is extremely proud of and whilst results are never guaranteed, he certainly has a great chance of success.

Ryan Farquhar: “When Hudson withdrew from the NW200 and TT, my immediate focus was on the North West and Michael did an absolutely brilliant job to take a race win after stepping in at the last minute. He’d already agreed to ride the Paton at the TT though so wasn’t available but having had tentative talks with Josh over the winter, I’m now delighted to welcome him on board. Having a ride of that pedigree riding for KMR is a terrific coup and I’m really looking forward to working with him.”

“We were a little bit down on top speed at the North West but Michael showed what the bike was capable of, particularly in the handling department, and with four incredibly talented riders on the KMR Kawasaki’s, we’re confident of having a good TT. It’s going to be hard work, without doubt, but all four riders are more than capable of standing on the podium so we’ll be giving it our best shot.”


Lightweight TT podium for Hickman and KMR Kawasaki

KMR Kawasaki may have seen their chances of success in the Isle of Man Lightweight TT race reduced from four riders to two but both Peter Hickman and Josh Brookes put in superb performances to finish third and sixth respectively in Wednesday's four-lap race.

Crashes on other machinery during practice week had ruled out both Lee Johnston and Danny Webb which left Hickman and 2015 British Superbike Champion Brookes to fly the flag and despite a distinct lack of track time on the white KMR/IEG Kawasaki’s, the duo placed third and eighth on the practice leaderboard.

With three podiums from his first races, Hickman was carrying the team’s main hopes and an opening lap of 117.696mph put him in a strong fifth place. With an even quicker lap second time around, 119.151mph, he moved up fourth and was just three seconds behind 2015 and 2016 winner Ivan Lintin.

The latter experienced trouble at the pit stop when he had to change helmets and Peter seized his opportunity, moving up to third by the time the riders reached Glen Helen for the third time. With an advantage of almost twenty seconds, it wasn’t a gap he was about to relinquish and with another 118mph+ lap on the final lap, he duly brought the bike home for third place, much to the delight of team owner and three-times TT winner Ryan Farquhar.

Brookes, meanwhile, was having his first experience of a Lightweight machine having had a career spent mostly on Superbike and Supersport bikes, whilst returning to the TT for the first time since 2014 meant he was also having to dial himself back in gradually to the rigours of the Mountain Course.

Nevertheless, the Australian acquitted himself superbly despite only having had three laps on the bike during practice week. His first lap, 114.715mph, saw him slot into tenth but from that moment on, he got quicker and quicker to move up the leaderboard. His second lap of 116.482mph saw him move up to eighth but he saved the best until last and with a final lap of 119.064mph, he brought the bike home for an excellent sixth place, the best result in his short TT career.

Peter Hickman: “We changed the bike completely before the race – different engine, different forks, different gearing, everything – but it ran perfectly so full credit to KMR Kawasaki for doing a great job. I was a bit steady on the first lap and when Stefano Bonetti came by me, it affected my rhythm a bit as his bike was faster in a straight line but I was quicker through the corners. I got by him again and got my head down so to finish third and take my fourth podium of the week is brilliant. A big thanks to Ryan and the team for all their hard work and also to Alan and Rebecca Smith for letting me ride the bike.”

Josh Brookes: “It’s taken me a while to get dialled back into the Mountain Course and the lack of track time in practice hit me harder than most so it wasn’t until the final session that I got out on the KMR Kawasaki. The Lightweight bike requires a different technique to the bikes I’m used to riding and with it being a last minute deal riding for Ryan, I didn’t get much time on the bike but we moved forward all the time. I’ve really enjoyed working with Ryan and he gave me a great bike so it’s really good to pay him back with a good result.”

Ryan Farquhar, Team Owner: “It was obviously a great shame to have Lee and Danny ruled out after injuries sustained during practice week but I’m absolutely over the moon with the results today. Peter jumped on the bike and after not much practice, we made a lot of changes prior to the race which paid off and a podium is brilliant. Josh didn’t have much time either so to lap at 119mph and finish sixth is superb so a big thanks to both riders, I can’t praise them enough. After a great North West 200, it’s brilliant to have such great results here at the TT so a massive thank you to all the team for all their hard work and also to my loyal sponsors for their continued support.”


Disappointment for Reeves and Wilkes in TT Sidecar race two

There was disappointment for Kent’s Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes at the Isle of Man TT on Friday when the Klaffi Honda pairing were forced to retire from the second Formula Two Sidecar race.

Having taken fifth place in the opening three-lap race earlier in the week, the duo were more than hopeful of a podium position especially after another lap of practice had seen them lap at close to 115mph.

A good start to the race saw them slot into fourth place at Glen Helen on the opening lap, just 0.5s behind Dave Molyneux/Dan Sayle and by Ramsey Hairpin they were up to third as the Manx pairing retired at the Sulby Crossroads.

As they rounded the hairpin, Tim and Mark were 7s adrift of the second placed outfit of John Holden/Lee Cain but with an opening lap of 114.793s, they turned that deficit into a 1.3s advantage as they started their second lap. That meant they were now 7.9s behind leaders Ben and Tom Birchall although a good run to Ballacraine saw them unofficially bring the gap down to six seconds.

However, they started to run into problems shortly after with the engine cutting out and stopping at Laurel Bank and they pulled in at Glen Helen, the first official timing point, to check the outfit. Turning the outfit off and on again, the engine appeared to be running cleanly once more so they rejoined the race, still in third, but less than half a mile up the road at Sarah’s Cottage, it cut out again and they pulled in to retire at Lambfell.

Tim Reeves: “For the first time probably since I won in 2013, I felt like I was in with a really good chance of winning today and was more than satisfied with how the race started. We’d had a good practice lap on Wednesday and were getting quicker and quicker during the race with my signals at Ballacraine timing me only six seconds behind Ben and Tom. The bike started to cut out though through the Glen Helen section so we had to stop and check everything before we could get going again.”

“On the climb out of Glen Helen up to Sarah’s it cut out again so we had little option other than to retire and watch the race. When the race was finished, the engine fired up straightaway and we were able to drive back to the Grandstand so it’s a real mystery as to what went wrong. It’s a real shame as I felt really comfortable and the bike was flying whilst Mark did an excellent job and more than proved he’s as good a passenger as anyone. There are plenty of positives to take away so we’ll come back next year and have another go.”


Joey Thompson's TT

Team ILR's Joey Thompson had his first taste of the Isle of Man TT when he became the youngest ever competitor in the history of the world famous event in 2017.

The young 19 year old rookie had a highly experienced 10 times TT winner in his corner though, in the shape of Team ILR owner/manager Ian Lougher.

Thompson approached his first TT in a professional manner with lots of preparation, hard work and good advice behind him, and it showed on his first night when he registered a 110mph lap in practice. Practice week though was blighted by poor weather and, as was the case with many competitors, Joey was itching to get as many laps as possible in.

Towards the end of practice week he was starting to get a feel for the unique and varied characteristics of the circuit and he went round at 116.7mph on his eighth lap on Friday evening. With racing put back until Sunday, the organisers announced that Saturday would be a practice day which gave Joey invaluable track time, with the team knowing where he could gain lots of time. It obviously paid dividends as Thompson had his fastest lap of the week at 117.287mph to finish 41st quickest overall in the Supersport class and rewarded with being moved halfway up the starting order to 42 from an original starting number of 84.

The first lap of Monday's four lap Supersport race saw Joey set off down Bray Hill for his first ever TT race with the advice of Ian Lougher to keep it smooth and flowing very much in his mind. He opened with a lap of 115.90mph to place himself in 33rd position, and as he pitted for fuel at the end of the next lap he was lying in 34th. The team worked efficiently to put Thompson back out quickly, and on the third lap he was still in the Top 40 and riding comfortably within himself.

The final lap saw Joey post a very respectable 118.54mph, and not even a 30 second speeding penalty for going over the 60kmh in pit lane (he was actually 0.2 of a kmh over) could deter him, as he made places up to bring the ZX-6R home for a very respectable 34th place finish and a bronze replica, which will no doubt soon be replaced by the first of many silver.

Unfortunately the Manx weather again intervened to bring a premature end to Joey's first TT adventure, with the second Supersport race being scrubbed from the schedule.

Post TT Races.
Following his TT exploits, Thompson then competed in the Post TT event over the Southern 100 course and, again with advice from Billown specialist Ian Lougher, he was the fastest newcomer and finished 8th quickest in practice for the Supersport race. In the race itself he was 3rd going on to the last lap, but showing immense maturity he rolled off to finish 4th as he felt he was making too many mistakes as a circuit newcomer. Equally impressive was Joey's 7th place finish in the Superbike race which brought his debut Manx adventure to a very satisfactory conclusion, and further cemented his reputation as a real star of the future.

Team ILR owner/manager Ian Lougher:
"'At Team ILR we are so impressed and delighted with Joey in the way he handled his first Isle of Man TT race. It was a difficult year for every competitor and team, with such bad weather affecting even the most experienced of riders, but Joey always remained calm, upbeat and focused, riding well within himself. He started out in practice (not Qualifying as people keep calling it these days...the TT is about learning without any pressure for the need to qualify and this word in my opinion leads to mistakes, which are hard to undo) with a very respectable 110mph lap and upped his pace to almost a 119mph lap in the race, on his Superstock (standard engine) ZX-6R Kawasaki.

It was such a shame his second 600 race was cancelled due to lack of time, as I'm sure he would have got to a 120mph lap with no problems. Whilst we had plenty of down time due to the bad weather, Joey expressed an interest in viewing the Southern 100 circuit (Billown), so I showed him around one of my favourite circuits. He seemed to like it, as when the dust settled after his two races at the Radcliffe Butchers sponsored meeting, Joey had narrowly missed the rostrom in the 600cc event, finishing in 4th place, and went on to better his times by a further two seconds in the 1000cc race finishing in 7th position, with a best average speed lap of over 105mph. Once again we were all over-awed by his maturity and endurance at such a young age, and this fun to work with young rider has a big future in Road Racing!"

Joey Thompson:
"The TT was great, we had a lack of track time which put us on the back foot but we learned fast and got some great lap times. I loved every second of it and can't thank all the team, my dad and sponsors enough, for such a great opportunity. My thoughts are with the families of the riders who lost their lives. Roll on the Classic TT!"



An unfortunate incident in today’s National 1000cc Superstock race ended EHA Racing’s challenge with Luke Hedger aboard the RSV-4 RF Aprilia at Knockhill in Scotland. A sixth place in race one on Saturday from 14th on the grid was Luke’s main reward for a weekend of hard work. He now holds seventh place in the championship standings after five rounds.

Speaking afterwards the 21-year-old said: “We were unlucky today but in truth we struggled all weekend with set-up, as I’ve never been round Knockhill in the dry. We finished in a steady position in race one – coming through from P14 to sixth – and I was so happy I found the pace we were looking for.

"Race two was going really well. I set my personal best lap time and was just off the leading group when the safety car came out. But that was the end of my race as I was hit by another rider. I’d just like to thank the EHA team, Ian and James for all their hard work and all my personal sponsors for their support.

Gail Allingham – Team Manager:
“Knockhill isn't the most favoured track for our riders, so we are really happy with our results this weekend. Luke rode superbly yesterday to get his sixth place from 14th on the grid, but we were so disappointed for him not to finish today, due to the incident on the safety car lap. He really had the pace for a podium today. We will just look ahead now to Snetterton in two weeks’ time for the next round where we know Luke is confident he can do a good job on the EHA Racing Aprilia.”

Championship Points [after 5 rounds]
Danny Buchan 161 points
Richard Cooper 128
Michael Rutter 95.5
Chrissy Rouse 93
Mason Law 81
Fraser Rogers 66.5
Luke Hedger 66


Lintin and Dafabet Devitt Racing get back to winning ways

After a two week break following their Isle of Man TT Races campaign, Ivan Lintin and the Dafabet Devitt Racing team made their return to racing at the weekend with the Cock o’ the North Trophy races at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough. And it was a winning return for the Lincolnshire rider with two wins and no less than nine top five finishes.

With perfect weather conditions all weekend at the seaside venue, the Bardney resident took victory in both of the Supertwin races, where he was campaigning the new 2017 Z650 Kawasaki model, after close battles on each occasion with James Cowton and Adam McLean, whilst he finished a strong third in the feature Cock o’ the North Trophy race.

The team had spent considerable time with the Kawasaki ZX-10R since the TT, particularly with the electronics, in a bid to iron out some of the issues they’d encountered during their time competing on the 37 and 3Ž4-mile Mountain Course. Lintin clearly felt the benefit with the changes as he again set a new personal best lap on a Kawasaki around the 2.43-mile Scarborough circuit during the feature race. Indeed, it proved to be an incredibly fast pace all round as race winner Dean Harrison broke the four-year old outright lap record.

Ivan had four more outings on the Kawasaki ZX-10R over the course of the two days and whilst Harrison was again untouchable, the 32-year old finished on the podium in all four of them, taking a second and three thirds. In what was an extremely busy weekend, Ivan also took a brace of fifths in the highly competitive Supersport 600cc races.

Ivan Lintin: “It was a really good, enjoyable weekend and with such good weather, everyone was setting some extremely fast lap times in what were very competitive races. I was really happy with the different electronics package we had on the ZX-10R and we’ve definitely made some major steps in the right direction, which bodes well for the rest of the year. Likewise with the new Twin where we were having our first proper run on it. It’s a new project for us as we look to the 2018 Internationals but we can forge ahead with development for the rest of the year so to only be a second outside my lap record more than shows the potential of the bike.”

“Each time I go out on the big bike, and the 600 for that matter, I’m setting personal bests around Oliver’s Mount and although the likes of Dean and Daley (Mathison) really upped the ante this weekend, I’m confident we’re heading the right way and with the likes of the Southern 100, Ulster GP and Scarborough Gold Cup still ahead of us, I’m sure we’re going to get some strong results.”

Ben Constable, Team Co-owner: “It was a really good weekend for Ivan and the team and whilst we weren’t going to stop Dean, it was important that we regrouped after a disappointing TT. We did that on all counts and the changes to the electronics on the big bike clearly worked as Ivan was fast all weekend, setting his quickest ever lap on a Kawasaki. It was nice to get some good mileage on the new Z650 as well with the old bike now having been retired and Ivan’s lap times were again very good so with more development and time, it should be even stronger. After a break from racing after the TT, it’s been great to get back to winning ways.”


Good Weekend for Team ILR at Oliver's Mount

Team ILR had a successful two days at the annual Cock O' the North road races at Oliver's Mount, Scarborough at the weekend.

The team came away with three wins, with two for young up and coming star Joey Thompson, whilst the circuit's most successful ever competitor Ian Lougher continues to rip up the history books with yet another win round 'The Mount' to take his tally to an incredible 138.

Young Thompson opened his account on Day 1 with a runaway victory in the Lightweight race on his immaculate TZ250 Yamaha, as team boss Lougher won the concurrently run Moto 3 race on the team's NSF 250 Honda, just edging ahead of Justin Waring. Joey also had two impressive Top 10 finishes in the Superbike and Supersport races.

Thompson again took the honours in the Lightweight class on Sunday, as James Cowton won a thrilling Moto 3 encounter from Lougher and Waring. Ian had led for the majority of the race and was just pipped on the last lap, with less than a second covering the three at the flag. Even the disappointment of a retirement for Joey in the Junior race when he had made contact with the leaders, did little to dampen what had been a very good weekend for the team.

Team ILR owner manager Ian Lougher:

"It was only Joey's second race on his ZX6 Kawasaki at Oliver's Mount, but his times improved every time he goes out. Unfortunately he had a problem with his bike on Sunday and had to park the bike for the remainder of the day. On his TZ250 Yamaha he won both races he entered and it goes to show for a young guy he's very good at jumping from one bike to another and this is just one of the things that impresses me about him. As for myself... well to be honest I felt incredibly rusty and unbike fit, having not raced since April, nevertheless I managed to just hold off Justin Waring on his Kalex KTM for the win in Saturday's race. On Sunday I got a great start but after half of the race I felt I had a few aches and cramps starting, which led to being caught on the last hairpin on the last lap by a charging James Cowton. I guess it goes to show that I still have the drive to still go racing to win, as I am gutted to lose out so late in the race, especially to such a new boy in the class...I'll do my best to be less complacent next time."

Joey Thompson:
"Oliver's Mount, where do we start? The meeting was ran perfectly by the organisers and I really enjoyed myself. We are slowly getting where we need to be and moving up the field constantly and it will not be long until we are fighting for podiums round my home road race. The 250 was faultless and ran amazing and dominated both Lightweight races, thanks to Phil Guillu for the great engine and to my dad for supplying the bike. The 600 was running great until we had an electrical fault which we are sorting for the Southern 100. Each time my leg goes over the ILR/Thompsons Kawasaki I give 110% and never give up and hopefully my determination to achieve results will show very soon. It's coming...

Thanks to all the team for their great work, thanks to my dad and all my family for their support, and I would just like to say one MASSIVE thank you to all the fans that give me lots of support at my local race."



Luke Hedger rounded out a tough weekend at Snetterton with ninth place in the National 1000cc Superstock class aboard the EHA Racing Aprilia, maintaining his sixth place in the championship standings after six rounds and 11 races on the 2017 calendar.

Candidly honest, the 21-year-old rookie explained afterwards: "My weekend was very tough and we struggled pretty much from day one. We just couldn't find the set-up we needed to go fast enough to challenge at the sharp end, but on the positive side, I managed to bag myself another top ten finish. We also took some good points for the championship and are still top six which is another big positive both for me and EHA Racing. I’d like to thank Ian and the whole team for all their hard work over the weekend and my personal sponsors for continued support."

Team Manager Gail Allingham added: “Luke did a good solid job this weekend and he once again achieved that consistent top ten finish and sits sixth in the championship. We just didn't get the ideal bike set-up today, but we weren't too far away. We are still very much wanting a podium with Luke and have full confidence that it will come very soon. Well done to all the team and thanks to our sponsors and supporters that made the journey to watch us this weekend.”