IAN LOUGHER

15 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on IAN LOUGHER
Honda CBR 1000 RR Ian Hutchinson Edition

IAN LOUGHER


Lougher re-writes the Ulster GP history book

Ian Lougher became the second most successful rider in the history of the Ulster Grand Prix when he romped to victory in the 250cc race in Saturday’s event. The win takes the popular Welshman to 15 wins, one more than Philip McCallen with only the great Joey Dunlop having secured more victories. Ian also moves into joint second with 18 wins in the all-time list of most victories round the Dundrod circuit, ahead of such notables as Ray McCullough, Brian Reid and Robert Dunlop with again Joey Dunlop topping the list.

Rea Estates 250cc Race

Ian’s win on Norman Rank’s, Pirate/Berwick Racing 250 was a brilliant display of speed racing, taking the race by the scruff of the neck from the lights he was simply unstoppable as he extended his lead on virtually every lap. An opening lap of 116.87mph gave him a lead of nearly four seconds and by the second lap the lead was up to around five seconds from William Dunlop.

A blistering third lap of 120.12mph, just under Darren Lindsay’s 2006 lap record, effectively broke any resistance from Dunlop and gave Ian a lead of almost ten seconds at the halfway stage. Ian was able to ease up for the remainder of the race and crossed the line at the finish just over ten seconds in front of Dunlop with Paul Robinson in third. The win made up for the disappointment of the 125cc race in Thursday’s Dundrod 150 when Ian was forced to retire whilst battling for the lead with William Dunlop.

Lisburn City Council Superstock Race

The first race on the programme, and from fifth on the second row of the grid Ian was soon in the mix and at the end of the opening lap he was up to fourth behind Amor, Hutchinson and Farquhar. By lap three Amor and Hutchinson had broke clear with Farquhar on his own in third, behind them Gary Johnson was fourth with Ian right behind.

On the next lap however Lougher and Johnson were very much on the move and were right on Farquhar’s case and as they crossed the line together at the end of the lap Ian was back up to to fourth. On the fifth lap the trio were locked together, however Ian overhauled Ryan Farquhar, moving into 3rd place and having eeked out a comfortable margin on the Ninja ZX-10R, a podium looked secure. But an incident further down the order forced the race to be red flagged, bringing the race to a premature conclusion and with the result being taken from the end of the previous lap, the Blackhorse Kawasaki team boss had to concede his 3rd place finish to finish just off the podium in 4th.

Strong Construction Supersport Race

Having decided to give the second Supersport race a miss later in the day, Ian and the team pinned their Supersport hopes on this one race. However there was to be disappointment as Ian unfortunately came off the ZX-6R at the Hairpin when Manxman Dan Kneen accidently hit the pit lane speed limiter button on his handlebar causing his bike to virtually stop, and with Lougher poised for an over taking manouvre, a collision was unavoidable. Luckily Ian was unscathed and the damage to the machine was minimal.

Stoneyford Concrete/The Peoples UGP Superbike Race 1

Ian opted to ride the Ninja ZX-10R Superstock bike in both Superbike races and from the off a small group made a break for it, behind them Ian was leading a seven man express train out of Leathemstown Corner. As they completed the first circuit Ian was eighth just over a second behind Gary Johnson. Cameron Donald dropped back on the next lap as Ian battled on with James McBride, Dan Kneen and Michael Pearson for company.

McBride got ahead of Lougher on the third lap with Kneen following suit on the next lap but there was nothing between the three and Ian doggedly fought back to overhaul Kneen once again. The battle between the two had allowed McBride to open up a small cushion and at the chequered flag he was able to secure seventh with Ian fending off the challenge of Kneen to finish a battling eighth.

visitlisburn.com Superbike Race 2

The final race of the day, the second Superbike race, got off to a hectic start with Ian right in the mix as they arrived at Leathemstown. As with the first superbike race a small group was attempting to go clear whilst right behind them was Guy Martin, Lougher and Bruce Anstey. At the conclusion of the lap Martin and Anstey had opened up a small gap on Ian with Gary Johnson joining them.

A lap later and Ian was in a relatively safe eighth place but the next lap saw him come under pressure from a three man group which included William Dunlop, James McBride and Michael Pearson. The next two laps to the finish would see Ian draw upon every ounce of his experience and skill to fend off his rivals and secure another eighth place superbike finish on his Superstock bike.

In conclusion, a satisfying Ulster Grand Prix for Ian Lougher. The disappointment of the non-finishes in the 125cc and Supersport races were tempered with that brilliant 250cc win and a fine fourth in the Superstock race. A lap of 130.2mph on the Superstock Ninja ZX-10R was also a great effort.

Ian Lougher. ”I always enjoy the Ulster GP, to me it’s the best pure road race in the world, and this year’s event was no exception. once you have been parked up in your allocated slot that is. My win on Rico Mendel/Norman Rank’s 250 was a lonely ride, but I got my head down from the drop of the flag and went for it, as I was unsure as to how strong William Dunlop and Paul Robinson would be once they got more laps under their belts. I have to thank Norman, Stephen, Uwe, Wata and all the German contingent for making this win possible..mega.

It was not such a great day on the 600 for me, Dan Kneen’s error resulting in me hitting the back of him on the way out of the hairpin and I almost got a pillion ride with him for the rest of the race..sadly that was that – game over.

I was happy with my Superstock ride on our Blackhorse Kawasaki ZX-10R finishing in 4th position, and felt both the bike and I were performing well. Although I had made it past Ryan Farquhar into 3rd place when the red flags came out, so the results were taken from the previous lap which was a bit of a shame as I would have liked to have given my sponsors, Kawasaki and the rest of my team who worked so hard during the meeting another rostrum position, but it was not to be.

As for the Superbike races, my own Superbike had developed a problem earlier in the meeting, so it was always going to be a struggle riding my Superstock bike against full blown Superbikes, but I ended up with two 8th place finishes and a fastest lap of 130.2mph. So all in all it was not too bad.”

www.blackhorsekawasaki.com

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