IAN Hutchinson will miss next year’s North West 200 and Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix after being ruled out of the 2013 road racing season.
The Bingley rider faces another year on the sidelines following his latest operation on his right leg, which will take at least seven months to heal.
Hutchinson, who suffered the initial injury in a crash in a round of the British Supersport Championship in September 2010, has had a section of bone removed from his leg and an external fixator fitted to the damaged limb.
His future in the sport depends on whether the latest operation proves a success and is seen as his final bite at the cherry as he battles to regain full fitness and recapture the form that carried him to a famous five-timer at the Isle of Man TT two years ago.
It is understood that Hutchinson has been offered a role in Shaun Muir’s Swan Yamaha team or 2013, but team owner Muir is now seeking a replacement rider for the R1 machines and may even field a second rider on the roads.
Hutchinson took to social media outlet Twitter to confirm the news of his latest injury setback yesterday.
“I can finally confirm my future plans and unfortunately I will not be racing next season at the North West or TT,” he said. “I will fight until I can.
“Thank you to all my fans for supporting me. Now I will work hard to come back fully fit and show you the ‘Hutchy’ you want to see out there.
“I’d like to thank Shaun Muir, Swan Yamaha, Moto Direct, Arai and my personal sponsors for all your support and committing to me when I return.”
In an interview with Manx Radio yesterday, Hutchinson said he had hoped to be back next season but conceded it was now time to take a back seat and “give another rider a chance” to compete on the Swan Yamaha machines.
“The hope was that I’d be back next year but it isn’t to be for now,” he said.
“I just need to move on and let Swan and Yamaha get some success with the bikes and give another rider a chance, because I’m taking up a spot for no reason at the moment.”
Hutchinson finished third on his comeback at the Macau Grand Prix last November.
He broke his injured leg again while taking part in a motorcycle show in February, but returned to road racing here at the North West 200.
The English ace then made his TT return on the Mountain Course in June, but was unable to mount a serious challenge for a podium finish as he continued to struggle for his best form.