Ian Hutchinson among headline names at Northern Ireland Motorcycle Festival

Ian Hutchinson on the Team Traction Control Yamaha at the Isle of Man TT.
Ian Hutchinson on the Team Traction Control Yamaha at the Isle of Man TT.

Isle of Man TT star Ian Hutchinson is the first big name to be confirmed for the 2017 Blackhorse Northern Ireland Motorcycle Festival, which will take place in February at the Eikon Exhibition Centre in Lisburn.

Promoters Billy and Marty Nutt’s eagerly awaited annual biking extravaganza moved to the new multi-million pound venue at Balmoral Park, Sprucefield, in 2016 and proved a massive success.

The 2017 festival will be held over three days from Friday, February 3 to Sunday, February 5.

Bingley Bullet Hutchinson has been a regular at the event in the past and the 37-year-old will once again support the event next year, when he will mingle with the fans and sign autographs.

Hutchy, who has signed for a second year with the Tyco BMW and McAMS Yamaha teams, won the Superstock races at the North West 200, TT and Ulster Grand Prix this year to complete a clean sweep on the BMW S1000RR.

The Yorkshire rider boosted his tally of TT wins to 14 to join Mike ‘The Bike’ Hailwood on the all-time winners’ list in June.

Hutchinson then capped the major international season in sizzling style with a dominant four-timer at the Ulster Grand Prix, where he set a new outright lap record of 134.089mph.

Event promoter Billy Nutt said: “We’re delighted to welcome Hutchy back in 2017 and he had such an incredible season this year.

“Not only did he win at all the big international road races, but he also had a brilliant year in the British Superstock Championship and to finish as the runner-up shows how versatile he is as a rider.

“Everyone knows what Hutchy has been through over these past years after his injury and he has shown remarkable determination to get back to the top.”

All the major motorcycle manufacturers and dealerships will be represented at the festival, with confirmed exhibitors including Phillip McCallen Motorcycles (Kawasaki, Triumph and KTM), Belfast Honda, Hurst BMW and Yamaha, GS Suzuki, Ballymena Honda, Harley Davidson and Crossan Motorcycles.

More star names are set to be revealed over the coming weeks.