McLean to ride new Honda at Snetterton

Ian Lougher and Adam McLean with the new Honda CBR600RR during a recent test at Kirkistown. McLean will ride the bike in the next round of the BSB Junior Superstock Championship at Snetterton. Photo: Team ILR

Team ILR are looking forward to the next round of the BSB National Junior Superstock Championship at Snetterton where Tobermore star Adam McLean will ride an all-new 2021 Honda in the team's colours.

The bike in question is the latest CBR600RR and it will be the only one of its kind raced in the UK. McLean himself has only just returned to racing this season, in 2020 he had a qualifying crash at Brands Hatch and suffered a broken right arm, despite this he finished a respectable 14th in the championship.

Adam worked hard to get back to fitness from what proved to be a troublesome injury and he returned to racing at the recent Armoy Road Races and registered a second place to Michael Dunlop in the first Supersport race, he also had podium finishes in the second race and in the Supertwin class.

Team ILR boss Ian Lougher has also been working hard behind the scenes during these unprecedented times, and he first spoke to McLean earlier this year about a possible seat on one of his bikes. He managed to acquire not just one, but two of the latest Hondas directly from Japan, and as well as being the only models of their kind in the UK, they are currently the only ones in Europe.

Bad weather put paid to the first planned test at Bishopscourt a few weeks ago but the team and Adam managed about 20 laps at the circuit shortly afterwards, and a further test at Kirkistown at the weekend was more productive with progress being made in terms of getting familiar with the bike and finding a decent base setting going forward. McLean came away in a positive frame of mind ahead of the trip to Norfolk, and his talent, coupled with Lougher's experience and guidance, presents a mouth watering opportunity for the fans to really see the bike being put through its paces at Snetterton.

Team ILR owner - manager Ian Lougher:

"We’re really looking forward to Snetterton now, just to see how the the latest CBR600RR will perform is exciting, with a rider with Adam’s talent onboard hopefully we can be competitive enough. It’s not been easy getting ready to race this machine, as nobody in Europe has one we have relied a lot on our good contacts in Japan for setup information, parts, and support, which have been a god send. It’s only Adam’s second visit to Snetterton and the other BSB riders will be riding well at this late stage of the season, so we’ll see how we go and enjoy the ride."

Adam McLean:

"Honda brought out a new 2021 Supersport bike but it didn’t come to the European market for one reason and another, but Ian got two of them from Japan.

He approached me earlier on in the year and we had a chat about it, so the plan is to do as many of the remaining rounds as possible. It’s an exciting project to be involved with and hopefully with Ian’s experience, he can bring the best out of me on track.

It’s a new bike so it took us a while to find a direction with it, first impressions are very good, so we’ll see next weekend how we get on and go from there.

Snetterton will be a bit of a learning curve for us as well because we don’t have much data for myself on the bike, so it will be about getting to know the bike more and finding a direction to go in for the rest of the year. I’m looking forward to the challenge."


Aprilia just shy of the podium after mixed race conditions

After a perfect weekend of testing and qualifying it was a frustrating end, although the collection of more points means that IN Competition remains in the running for the Championship. The 2021 National Superstock class was now at the halfway stage and once again saw a healthy entry of 39 riders trying for that all important top 3.

The weekend started off with two excellent free practice sessions with Fraser Rogers aboard the Aprilia RSV4 utilising the entire 2.18 mile circuit in Lincolnshire where he refined his consistency, completing both Friday sessions in P2 only 0.3s behind pole sitter Tom Neave on the Honda machine. Qualifying was to be a 30 minute session where the team were confident that the knowledge gained over the time spent at the track would enable them to be on the front row and true to form Fraser planted the Aprilia machine in P2, only 0.685 off pole.

Superbike Sunday came about and warm up commenced, it was rather a slippery affair with a lot of fog refusing to lift through the National Superstock session. By the time the race came about the go had eased and the sun had come through but for how long?

The lights went out and it was Chrissy Rouse that came through from the third row of the grid to take an early lead but Fraser was not far behind but on the third lap the red flag came out due to rain becoming heavier and on the restart Fraser and Chrissy were neck and neck into the first corner but Fraser got swallowed up moving back to 4th by lap 4 behind Alex Olsen and Tom Neave who was pushing his way forward. It was a thrilling race with a 5 rider battle throughout. Fraser managed to claw his way past Chrissy on lap 10 but as he gained momentum on the front 3 the chequered flag came out and he just fell short of that last podium spot.

Team Manager, Ian Newton: “Very positive weekend, wet or dry we are always at the sharp end. Short races don't suit our set up at the minute but we are working on it. Team worked hard as always. Roll on the rest of the season!”

Fraser Rogers: “P4 in the ‘sprint race’ - proper superstock scrap. Unfortunate to have the first part stopped but great call by race direction to get the race stopped before we all went into a wet hall bends. A bit beaten up in the re-start and was only just coming good on the last lap. Positives tho, Fastest ever cadwell lap, 3rd fastest lap of the race & 13 valuable points. P4 on a bad day means we’re having a mega season. Thank you to all of my sponsors and the entire IN Competition Team.”


Productive Weekend for Team ILR and Adam McLean at Snetterton

Adam McLean put in a great performance as Team ILR returned to Snetterton for the latest round of the BSB Junior Superstock Championship at the weekend.

With an all-new Honda CBR600RR at their disposal the team and Adam were using Snetterton as an opportunity to familiarise themselves further with the bike, however after practice and qualifying it was clear they were certainly moving in the right direction.

On his first BSB appearance this year and on just his second appearance at Snetterton, the Tobermore rider knocked 0.8 seconds off his best time during qualifying.

A steady first session saw McLean finish in midfield, three seconds off the pace and after a few changes by the team he went almost 2.5 seconds quicker in the second session to finish 11th quickest, just over a second down on the quickest time.

Qualifying saw a further improvement of over 0.7 seconds to consolidate 11th place whilst reducing the gap to the pace-setters.

The race itself saw Adam ride consistently as he repeatedly reeled off laps in the 1.55's. At the end of the opening lap he was running in 15th place, and by mid-race distance he had saw off the challenge of two other competitors to make this place his own as he set about closing in on 14th. He eventually took 14th and was only 0.4s off 13th as the race reached its 12 lap conclusion to conclude a very satisfying and productive weekend in Norfolk for the team and Adam with lots of data gathered on the new Honda going forward.

Team ILR owner - manager Ian Lougher: "It’s fair to say that Asa and myself have worked fairly hard to get our new Honda CBR600RR ready to race at BSB level, not just getting the bike from Japan, but getting as much set up info as possible not to mention all the necessary spares in place just in case you need them. So for Adam to qualify in 11th and almost a second faster than he did to finish 7th in the same race last year was really satisfying. A 14th place finish doesn't sound fantastic in the race and doesn't tell the full story as we we were still searching for an even better set up with the front forks…but the organisers cancelled the warm up session because of an oil spillage on the track which would have let us find out that the changes we made were in the wrong direction. But hey-ho, we’re still learning with this new machine and look forward to Oulton Park. We would like to thank Richard from Maxton Suspension and all the people in Japan who have helped us make this happen."

Adam McLean: "I had an enjoyable first weekend back at BSB after an eleven month absence at Snetterton, I knew it would take some time to get back up to speed and I was pleased with my pace in qualifying. A cancelled warm up session lost us vital set up time and hindered my progress in the race but we did gain some valuable knowledge on the new CBR600. First impressions of the new bike were excellent and I would like to thank Ian & the team for doing a brilliant job throughout the weekend. Looking forward to Oulton Park in a couple of weeks time!"


IN Competition edge closer to the championship Top 3 at Silverstone

The IN Competition racing team and rider Fraser Rogers were back in action last weekend at the famous Silverstone circuit for a double header and there is one thing that you can guarantee when at the fast and furious circuit is uncertain weather conditions and a lot of action as well.

The weekend started out damp and with rain in the air and a cautious Fraser went out on the slippery lap. Completing 6 laps he found himself in unfamiliar territory, down in 29th place only 3 seconds off the top spot. The team was not phased as the scheduled weather forecast was good and the machine was well set up after an excellent test day back in May.

The second free practice session was yet again hampered by varied weather conditions but the rain managed to stay away just long enough for Fraser to put in 26 laps of the 1.6404 mile circuit with his fastest lap moving him up to P3 with a 54.915, 0.362 behind Tim Neave and Alex Olsen. Fraser’s form continued as he planted the RSV4 on the front row of the grid alongside Aussie rider Billy McConnell and Tim Neave with a 54.762 ready for race one later that afternoon.

In Race 1 he got a good start but was pushed back by Taylor Mackenzie but by lap 4 he had fought back his place before Alex Olsen came past after starting from P11. Fraser then fell victim to contender Tom Neave who slid past him on the second to last corner aboard the Honda on lap 14. After digging deep he took the chequered flag in P6 moving him into 5th in the championship with 144 points.

Race 2 saw the team start from the second row of the grid leaving Fraser with some work to do, after a coming together on the second lap with Levi Day which nearly ended his race, whilst fighting his way back up he broke the lap record, he moved into 3rd place on the 8th lap and remained there fighting off Billy McConnell and ex Aprilia rider Lewis Rollo to cross the line in 3rd place. He was delighted to be back where he belongs on the podium, punching the air as he went on his cool down lap.

Fraser‘s confidence has been growing throughout his time at IN Competition and his ability to come back fighting is inspiring to many. He has gelled with the team and the Aprilia RSV4 with ease and continues to impress in the National Superstock Championship.

Securing solid points in both races Fraser and the IN Competition Aprilia Racing Team move on to Round 9 - Oulton Park where they hope there is not a repeat of the previous round they were at the Cheshire track in a week's time.


IN Competition back on the podium at Oulton Park

The IN Competition Aprilia Racing Team left Oulton Park in a strong position having only 12 points between rider Fraser Rogers, who currently lies in 4th and Billy McConnell, in 3rd place and with only 33 points from the top spot the team are still very much in contention for the Superstock championship title.

For the first of 2 races held at the weekend, Fraser found himself starting in unfamiliar territory back in 17th place after not only mixed weather conditions but some technical difficulties hindering any chance of obtaining a competitive time, leaving the 25 year old with a huge challenge on his hands.

He got a fantastic start off the line making sure there was no repeat of the incident that happened back in June leaving him with nowhere to go, by the end of lap one he had rocketed up 4 places and was sat in P13 but not for long as he struck again as he danced around Mackenzie and Allingham with only inches to spare.

Now in his stride and enjoying the battles, lap 6 commenced and it was time for him to make yet another move aboard the Aprilia RSV4 on the pack that was in front of him, overtaking Day and McConnell. His next victims in his chain of overtakes came on lap 7 by way of Richardson and ex Aprilia 3rd place winner Rollo.

The Aprilia RSV4 was making such good progress with Fraser at the helm, the team were in the pit lane eagerly watching and waiting to see what move he would make next. Over the next 6 laps he continued his consistent and excellent progress all the way up to 4th place and on the last lap Fraser was just pipped to the line by BIlly McConnell after overtaking him on Lodge corner, the last corner before the chequered flag.

The IN Competition Aprilia Racing team breathed a sigh of relief as he crossed the line and were happy with more points in the bag. Fraser’s time placed him P5 on the grid for race two.

Sunday was to go by a slightly different format due to restrictions disallowing engines to start until after midday, so the National Superstock proceeded at 14:40. They all lined up on the grid with reigning champion Chrissy Rouse in pole position and the man to beat.

Fraser Rogers got off the line well but lost a place to McConnell in the order on the drop down to cascades corner holding the 6th position until lap 4 where he got the better of Tim Neave and then Alex Olsen, Fraser had the pace to catch the front two but ran out of laps taking the chequered flag in 3rd position lapping at 0.1 off the lap record.