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Hutchy visits North West 200 course

20/01/2014

Ian Hutchinson

Milwaukee Yamaha star Ian Hutchinson visited the Vauxhall International North West 200 course, meeting Event Director Mervyn Whyte and inspecting the 8.9 mile course before he races there on May 17.
PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON

‘Bingley Bullet’ Ian Hutchinson says he “can’t wait to break the 200mph barrier” when he returns to UK road racing at the 2014 Vauxhall International North West 200. The Milwaukee Yamaha rider visited Portrush last week to inspect the course and confirm his entry for the May 17 event.

“I will race in the Superbike and Supersport classes.” Hutchy explained after a lap of the 8.9 mile Triangle circuit.

“I’ve had a good look around today and there doesn’t seem to be much that has changed since I was here in 2012. The North West is the only place where we race at over 200mph and I want to be out there doing that again in 2014.”

Martin Jessopp holds the record for the fastest speed ever recorded at the North West- or on any UK race track- set at 208mph on a Riders Ducati in 2012.

Hutchy recently signed a new deal to race in the 2014 BSB series on a FFX Yamaha but the 34 year old will return to his road racing roots on Milwaukee Yamahas at Portrush in May.

“I am really looking forward to coming back to the North West.” Hutchy said.

“I haven’t been here since I raced the Swan Yamaha in 2012 before I began the second round of treatment on my leg but everything is sorted now and I am ready to race.”

Hutchy’s last North West win was on a Padgett’s Honda in a Supersport race in 2010 and the 2014 event will mark his return to the roads in the UK after completing his recovery from the horrific leg injury he sustained in a crash during a Supersport race at Silverstone at the end of the 2010 season. The three year battle has involved 29 operations as well as hundreds of hours in physiotherapy and in the gym.

“My leg is getting stronger every day now and is a lot better than it was in Macau.

“I am training hard and I will be fully fit come the start of the season.”

The five time TT winner in 2010 made his return to competition last November, taking a stunning win on the YZF R1 Milwaukee Yamaha in the Macau Grand Prix to confirm that he is back to his brilliant best. He will begin his preparations for the 2014 season with a test session in Spain next month.

“I was in China to see Ian win the Macau Grand Prix last year.” NW 200 Event Director Mervyn Whyte, MBE, recalled. “It was a really emotional day and we are absolutely delighted that he will be back with Milwaukee Yamaha at the North West 200 on May 17. He can be sure of a great welcome from the Irish fans who really appreciate all that he has come through to get back on to the grid.”

Local road race fans will see Hutchy line up alongside Milwaukee teammate Josh Brookes at the North West. The Australian BSB star made an impressive start to his road racing career on a Tyco Suzuki at Portrush last year before finishing runner up in the British Superbike series and switching camps during the winter.

 

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