2017 will see Joe Thompson compete for Team ILR (Ian Lougher Racing) in his debut at the Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy.
Run by ten-time TT winner Lougher, Team ILR will field Thompson on ZX6R Kawasaki machinery, which carries additional backing from DynoBike Racing and Bid-Vest, in the two four-lap Monster Energy Supersport races. At 18, he’s set to be the youngest rider on the starting line at TT 2017.
The York rider’s career started out in motocross before moving on to the tarmac at the age of 11 where he went on to take numerous Aprilia Superteen race wins and lap records as well as winning every race he entered in the 600cc Elite Club Championship.
For the past two seasons, Thompson has competed at all the Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough race meetings where, riding for Repli-Cast Racing, he won all eight races he entered in 2016. This included claiming the Stu Reed Lightweight Trophy, previously won by Lougher and Chris Palmer, on a Moto 3 Honda as well as victory in the Phil Mellor Trophy race where he was on board a 250cc Yamaha.
Riding for Repli-Cast Racing, Thompson finished ninth overall in the 2014 British Motostar Championship scoring points in nine of the Championship races including a best finish of sixth at Oulton Park, a result he equalled in 2015 at Donington Park. For 2016, he moved into the British Supersport Championship where he scored points on numerous occasions.
In addition to the Isle of Man TT, Team ILR will also field Thompson in the 2017 British Supersport Championship and at the International North West 200. He’ll also contest the Oliver’s Mount race meetings once more, beginning with the Spring Cup National Road Races, on the 22nd-23rd of April, and, potentially, some Irish road race meetings.
Joe Thompson said:
“Racing at the TT is what I want to do, it is going to take a lot of years to learn and get right, but it's what we have decided to do and we will keep going until we get it right! My aim is simply to learn the course at race speed, learn what it's all about and learn what I need to do to be able to win a TT race in later years.”
“I have no goals for these first two years other than to enjoy myself. The roads are what I've always wanted to race on and after my success at my local road races (Oliver's Mount) we have decided to go to the roads while I am still young. I know what I need to do and none of this would be possible without all my great sponsors, team, my dad and all my friends, family and supporters.”