Ian Hutchinson and Josh Brookes confirmed for North West 200

Milwaukee Yamaha's Ian Hutchinson

Milwaukee Yamaha's Ian Hutchinson

The Vauxhall International North West 200 will continue to run under FIM rules in 2014, paving the way for Milwaukee Yamaha stars Ian Hutchinson and Josh Brookes to compete at the event.

The pair were confirmed for the famous road race on Thursday after Event Director, Mervyn Whyte, decided against introducing new regulations preventing the use of sophisticated after-market electronics systems, such as the Magneti Marelli unit used on the Milwaukee Yamaha YZF-R1 road racing machines.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that the Isle of Man TT organisers intended to switch to different rules requiring teams to run a Motec spec-ECU or kit systems in line with the British Superbike Championship.

Milwaukee Yamaha boss Shaun Muir disapproved, arguing that Yamaha’s kit electronics system was considerably less advanced than those used by rival manufacturers, putting his riders at a big disadvantage.

Muir has vowed to withdraw from the TT as a result, but there are no such concerns at the North West 200.

Whyte said: “It is a great start for our 2014 event to be able to announce the inclusion of two big stars like Josh and Ian.

“Hutchy proved at Macau that he is back to his best and that he means business and Josh is a class act who could surprise a lot of people. It is really exciting to have both of them back with their new Milwaukee Yamaha team.”

Hutchinson will make his Irish road racing return at the North West in May, buoyed by a stunning ride to victory on his latest comeback from injury at the Macau Grand Prix.

The Yorkshire rider competed at the North West and TT in 2012, but was clearly nowhere near full fitness and after further surgery on his shattered left leg, the Bingley man sat out the 2013 season until his sensational return at Macau.

Aussie Brookes, meanwhile, was a revelation in 2013 as he made his debut between the hedges at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.

The Bringelly racer earned an impressive seventh place in the opening NW200 Superstock race and went on to become the fastest ever newcomer at the TT, lapping the Mountain Course at almost 128mph.

The Milwaukee Yamaha riders join a stellar cast at the North West 200 that already includes the new-look Honda team of John McGuinness and Conor Cummins plus Tyco Suzuki’s Guy Martin and William Dunlop.




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