Solid Debut by Loughlin at Oulton Park

Joe Loughlin:

Team ILR brought the curtain down on a Covid 19 decimated race season with a return to the British Supersport Championship paddock after a year's absence. In the close season team owner-manager Ian Lougher and main sponsor Mark Coverdale had decided to take the team in a different direction in 2020 by cutting back on BSB participation and choosing instead to concentrate the team's efforts on the pure roads. However in keeping with the team's ethos of rider development, both were pleased to support exciting Irish rider Joe Loughlin in his BSB debut, his second appearance with the team having rode brilliantly in Team ILR colours at the 2019 Ulster Grand Prix. Loughlin's first appearance at BSB coincided with his first look at the Oulton Park circuit and as a result both he and the team viewed the meeting as an experience building exercise.

Joe Loughlin is already targeting a BSB and Oulton Park return after an encouraging debut there on the Team ILR - Mark Coverdale R6 Yamaha. Photo: Team ILR

With advice from team boss Lougher, Joe took things steady from the off and had a good solid run in Free Practice 1 finishing in 18th, in the second session he improved by almost 1.5 seconds and qualifying saw him go faster by another second so he was certainly moving in the right direction.

Loughlin then had a good Sprint race, and knocked yet another second off his best lap time as he came from the tenth row of the grid to finish just outside the points in 16th.

Unfortunately Joe's Oulton adventure came to an early end in Sunday's Feature race when he came to grief at the Turn One right hander at Old Hall, thankfully without injury.

Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher:

"We had planned with Joe to contest the Oulton BSB meeting in May in readiness for the forthcoming North West 200 and TT events, to help get him up to speed, but because of Covid the May meeting got cancelled and we decided to take in the September races instead. To be fair I probably pushed Joe into doing it a little as there’s a long time before next year’s North West, but it was a great opportunity to see how hard and fast the BSB pace is..there aren’t any slow riders there. So it was straight in at the deep end for Joe with learning a new track and all aspects of the BSB regime, but he took to it brilliantly, learning fast, going roughly a second a lap faster each time out on track. I was impressed with him and all the team really enjoyed working with him. Unfortunately he took a tumble in his last race but luckily was unhurt, but he bettered his times once again, so was pleased with his progress."

Joe Loughlin

"I had a great weekend at Oulton Park and enjoyed every bit of it. The track was great to ride especially with the good weather we got. We had a good result in the first race and was surprised with the times I got down to on my first time there. The team were faultless and it's a pity that I had a crash in the last race, but we will be back next year all going well. Thanks to Mark Coverdale, Ian, Asa, Jacko, Willy, Danny and all my loyal sponsors for giving me the opportunity to race in a BSB event which I thought I'd never be able to do."


BSB Round 4 Win For Scotsman And INCompetition/Aprilia Team

It was a weekend to remember for Lewis Rollo and the IN Competition/Aprilia team as they have completed their most successful outing yet aboard the Aprilia RSV4. Rollo is no stranger to the top spot, having collected his first win at Donington Park with the team last year (2019).

The team were well prepared for Oulton Park, Cheshire as it is by far the toughest and most technical circuit to ride on the Bennetts British Superbike calendar, it is very much survival of the fittest.

Rollo started off his Oulton Park campaign just outside the top 5 with P6 in Free Practice one, improving to P3 in Free Practice 2, rounding off day one with a combined practice position P3 with a time of 1:39.336, only 0.9 off the top spot. With a fire in his belly Rollo went on to the Pirelli Superstock 1000 qualifying session where he managed 14 laps aboard the Aprilia RSV4, only to move up again. This time to P2 where he would remain as Chrissy Rouse took pole for the first race by 0.485.

Rollo slotted in comfortably to P2 and the front row of the grid where he had a clear view down toward the first corner for race one. The lights went out and he catapulted off the line arriving to a good bike length in front of Rouse and Danny Kent either side, but Rouse came back at Rollo going into the first corner. Rollo bided his time, hot on the tail of Chrissy Rouse he saw the perfect opportunity and cut on the inside of him at Island Bend. There was no stopping Lewis Rollo, 21 from Gifford in Scotland now as he continued to lengthen the gap between him and second place. He crossed the line in P1 after a heroic ride and was greeted by an emotional team in Parc Ferme.

He also took away a fastest lap time of 1:37.047, quickest in sectors 1 and 4 meaning he would line up on the grid for the Sundays race in pole position.

Sunday, Lewis Rollo remained calm and collected, making his way to the grid with his own routine that he follows religiously before every race. Again he got off to another good start but Rouse just had the edge into the first corner and throughout the race but it was not without trying as the duo had some great battles using the entire track, which was incredible to watch for the team. It was a drag to the flag with Rollo taking a well deserved P2.