Rutter to ride Paton S1 in Lightweight TT

Paton joins forces with Ian Lougher's Team ILR

MICHAEL Rutter will be spearheading the Paton effort at this year’s Isle of Man TT in the Lightweight class, which will be overseen by 10-time TT winner Ian Lougher.

Paton Motorcycles has recruited Lougher to ‘oversee the fortunes’ of their Lightweight effort, under the banner Paton/Team ILR. 

The Paton S1 was homologated last year just in time for the TT and finished sixth in the Lightweight class thanks to Olie Linsdell.  

Rutter has achieved four TT victories since his debut in 1994, including three SES TT Zero race wins and a Junior TT win back in 1998, along with numerous podiums. He is currently the 10th fastest rider of all time around the Mountain course with a lap speed of 130.637mph.

Rutter said: '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.'

Paton and Welshman Lougher have worked together numerous times and achieved a dramatic win in last year’s 500cc Classic TT on-board Steve Linsdell’s Team Flitwick 1968 CMM Paton BIC 500, despite a 30-second penalty for skipping the pits in lap two.

Lougher said it was a 'great honour' to be asked to run Paton's Lightweight effort at this year’s TT. 

'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,' he said.

'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.'