JOEY THOMP­SON 19

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

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

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