As if the news that a two-stroke competing in the Senior at this year’s TT races wasn’t enough, the details have just come in on who the rider will be. Former 500cc racer and ten times TT winner Ian Lougher will pilot the Suter MMX500. We caught up with him just after he’d signed a three year contract.
When he retired from racing in 2013 and took up management, he could justifiably hold his head up high. Ten TT wins, eight NW200 victories, 18 Ulster wins and an unmatched amount of was at Scarborough meant Lougher had little else to prove. At 50 years old, the sparkle had began to fade on the TT. “I’ve never been a fan of comebacks to be honest and I certainly wasn’t ever planning on making one myself, but I just couldn’t say no to the prospect of riding a sorted 500 two-stroke over the mountain course again. The bike and the standards of the guys at Suter racing is phenomenal. I’ve been to the factory and these guys definitely know their stuff. It feels like the bike was made for me. Obviously they came to me because of my previous two stroke experience. I rode a 500cc NSR500V against the four strokes back in 1999 and stuck it on the podium. It was massively down on speed on the straights (about 10mph down) but I was able to make up for that elsewhere. Suter know I have experience of riding big two-strokes at the TT and lets be honest, there aren’t that many of us left that can say that. Now that the contract is signed, we can get stuck in. It’s a three year deal and we’re certainly not looking to get too carried away with ourselves in year one. There is an incredible amount of work to do now in a really short space of time, I’m going to get my head down and do my best to to the team and the bike justice.”
A two stroke up against the ultra modern four strokes in the Senior, over the mountain, with Lougher onboard. This is the stuff road racing dreams are made of, we cannot wait for TT2016.
Words: Johnatsuperbike Images: Suter/Pacemakerpress