As it sets out to conquer the Bikernation Lightweight TT at the 2015 Isle of Man TT, Paton Motorcycles has hired some new management and rider talent.
Paton Motorcycles reports that it will race the Lightweight TT under the Paton/Team ILR banner with Ian Lougher overseeing operations. As for the rider on the Paton S1 – four-time TT winner Michael Rutter.
Rutter debuted at the TT in 1994, and his wins include two SES TT Zero races. His best result in the Lightweight class was third in 2013, and with a lap of 130.637mph, he is the 10th fastest rider on the 37.73-mile Mountain Course.
Last year, the Paton S1 was homolgated for use, and Olie Linsdell piloted the twin to a sixth-place finish in the Lightweight TT.
Speaking of the Paton/Team ILR lineup, Paton says “With Linsdell a non-starter at this year’s TT, Paton approached the Team ILR manager with a view to running Michael Rutter on their bike, a request which Lougher didn’t need asking twice.”
Lougher and Paton have a great history, also. The Welshman won last year’s 500cc Classic TT while piloting Steve Linsdell’s Team Flitwick 1968 CMM Paton BIC 500. Despite being awarded a 30-second penalty for jumping the pits at the start of lap two, Lougher put in a typically determined performance to win.
Speaking of the 2015 TT, Ian Lougher, Team ILR manager, says “For me as a Team owner it’s a great honor to be asked by such a well respected company like Paton, to run their S1 650cc Twin at this year’s TT race festival. I have been a big fan of the Italian manufacturer for a long time, and followed their racing exploits for many years through the two stroke era in 500cc GP’s to the present day, where Olie took a fantastic top 6 finish in last year’s race. With so much more development this time around, and with Michael sat in the hot seat, I am sure together we can put Paton back on the rostrum where they belong.”
Michael Rutter also commented: “I am really excited to be asked to ride the Paton in the Lightweight race. Paton is a small passionate Italian company who are steeped in racing history and renowned for building great motorcycles. The bike looks fantastic, and considering how little testing time Olie had on it last year, due to the last minute homologation checks etc, he still ended up 3rd quickest in practice, and was able to bring it home in 6th position in the race, so I can’t wait to ride it.”
Roberto Pattoni, Paton founder, says “We have a strong relationship with the Isle of Man since our birth in 1958. Last year we did a big effort racing in the Lightweight class with our first and new road legal product, the Paton S1, thanks to Steve and Olie Linsdell. They did a very good job and created this year the opportunity to rely on Ian’s team and Michael’s ability to present our bike in perfect shape and carrying the latest tuning and set up.”
Mario Pagani, Paton CEO, says “Paton is a demonstration of what can be done with a limited amount of economic resources but a great passion for racing and quality products. Thanks to our efforts and continuous development our clients have great satisfactions in the Classic TT since many years and now our focus is the Lightweight class. For us it was a great honor receiving the positive answer from Ian and Michael and we will give them all our technical ability and support for a positive performance.”