Joe Thompson will make his Isle of Man TT debut in this year after joining forces with the Ian Lougher Racing team (Team ILR).
Thompson will compete on the team’s ZX6R Kawasaki machine, which carries additional backing from DynoBike Racing and Bid-Vest, in the two four-lap Supersport races.
At the age of just 18 Thompson is also set to be the youngest rider at this year’s road racing event.
Speaking about his decision to participate, 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.”
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.
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.