Ian Lougher to ride for AIM Yamaha

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Ian Lougher will be riding the AIM Yamaha Superbike at the major international road races in 2009.

The deal renews a partnership that Lougher had with team boss Alistair Flanagan in 2000 when he rode his ETI-Electrack Installations machine in British Supersport.

The news comes as Lougher prepares for his 28th racing season and this, combined with his duties at

Lougher said: "I am delighted to have signed a deal with Alistair to ride the AIM Yamaha at major international road races.

“His team remains one of the most knowledgeable in the paddock and in recent years their strong racing development programme has seen them consistently produce some of the fastest Yamaha machinery on track, be that on the "roads" or on the short circuits in the BSB series.”

Flanagan added: "In Ian we have acquired a rider of the utmost professionalism, with success and experience to match and I have no doubt that Ian and the 2009 AIM Yamaha Racing R1 Superbike will be an impressive combination.

“It has taken nearly two years to get this engine to its optimum and is a completely different bike now compared to the 2008 North West 200 (where Stave Palter took it to a race victory).

"It has 12 bhp more, all manageable power, and with the extra speed is has to be more than competitive. "

Last season saw the ever-popular Welshman at the forefront of proceedings as he claimed the Southern 100 Solo Championship for the second year in a row and the fifth time in total, eclipsing the legendary Joey Dunlop's race win tally in the process to become the most successful rider at the event.

Further wins at Oliver's Mount saw Lougher consolidate the honour of the most successful rider ever at the North Yorkshire venue as he raised the bar to 115 wins.

Sixteen race wins at Aberdare Park were the prelude to a 125cc win at the rain-hit Ulster Grand Prix meeting in August where he also blitzed the opposition in Supersport qualifying.

At the other big two international road races, the North-West 200 and the Isle of Man TT, Ian was again a force to be reckoned with as he claimed two podiums on the Co.

Antrim 'Triangle' and six top ten finishes on the Mountain course, three of which were in the top six. He also won the Steam Packet Lightweight 250TT on the Billown circuit.

This year’s TT will mark another milestone in the career of Ian Lougher. The opening TT Superbike race on June 6th will see him come to the line on the AIM Yamaha to start his 100th TT race.

Both the 2009 Team Blackhorse Yamaha effort and the AIM Yamaha Superbike will be supported by Dunlop Tyres.

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Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin