Joey Thompson will race a factory S1-R Paton for Team ILR in all the major road racing events in 2018; including the Isle of Man TT, Northwest 200 and the Ulster Grand Prix.
He will contest the Bennetts Lightweight TT on the Supertwin, adding his name to a list of legends such as Mike Hailwood and Roberto Gallina, who have ridden the Paton in the past.
Paton returned to the TT in 2014, and a year later approached Ian Lougher to oversee their Lightweight effort with Michael Rutter, thus becoming Paton/Team ILR. Rutter put the Paton on the podium in third, a result that absolutely delighted the Italian manufacturer.
“I am so pleased that we are in a position to offer Joey a potential race winning package for the Lightweight TT class. Thanks must go out to the people who have made this possible for us, Mark Coverdale and Solway Slate and Tile,” said Lougher, Team ILR’s team owner/manager.
“The Paton name is an iconic name in motorcycle racing, and Team ILR look forward to renewing our ties with the Paton factory. Joey is certainly not under any pressure from anybody to perform, as our ethos from a team perspective is ‘a happy rider is a fast rider’ so roll on 2018.”
Thompson was excited to join with the winning team, saying: ”Well, what can I say? I am on a proven winning bike with a winning mentor… no excuses now! Seriously though I am so happy to be riding the Paton at Team ILR next season, as seeing the bike perform at the TT this year it was outstanding and to be given the opportunity to race the bike at all the international road races it gives me the opportunity to prove myself.”
“It won’t be easy though, it’s a completely new bike for me as it will be completely different to the Trickbits Racing Suzuki twin I have previously rode and won on. So to be honest I have a lot of confidence on a super twin machine so let’s get 2018 underway and see what we can do.”
“Once again thanks to everyone for this opportunity as without all the support from Thompson’s, Team ILR and all my personal and team sponsors this wouldn’t be possible.”