JOEY THOMPSON 19
Ten-times TT winner Ian Lougher holds the all-time record of 32 Southern 100 victories and now runs his own ILR race team. And 19-yearold Joey Thompson is the Welsh veteran’s protégé and the newcomer to the 2017 Southern 100 was delighted to be receiving advice from someone with so much experience.
The York-based youngster said: “I can ask him which gear I should be using at a particular corner or how many I should be changing down and he knows the answer and he will tell me. If I asked current racers they mightn’t be so forthcoming!”
He was undaunted by the intimidating Billown course and added: “The Southern is an awesome circuit.
“Some parts are just so cool, like Joey’s Gate where they leave the gate open into Farmer Fred’s field in case you need the run off!”
Thompson needs all the track time he can get at events like the Southern and at his home event at Scarborough, if he is to develop the road racing skills he pitted against the TT’S Mountain course for the first time this year.
Thompson lapped at over 118mph on a Kawasaki ZX-6R, but thinks he could have done better. “It was a shame we didn’t get more track time at the TT because of the weather because when I get to grips with a track I can make big steps forward.”
Lougher is keen to play a key role in Thompson’s education as he guides him through bike set-up.
Lougher said: “As the bikes become more powerful it is more important than ever to get them set up right, otherwise you will scare yourself or be headed for the medical centre.”
Thompson has already enjoyed race wins at Scarborough and a fifth place in the 600cc race on his Southern 100 debut ahead of TT winner Ivan Lintin. His decision to serve his road racing apprenticeship with a master appears to be working well.
Thompson is just 19, but is learning fast under Lougher’s guidance