Bingley Bullet Ian Hutchinson has warned he is in a ‘much better place’ heading into the 2016 international road races than he was last year.
The Yorkshire rider endured a hugely frustrating season in 2014 on the Milwaukee Yamaha but made amends last season, starting strongly with podium finishes in the Superstock and Superbike races at the North West 200 before claiming a hat-trick at the Isle of Man TT, where he won both Supersport races on Keith Flint’s Team Traction Control Yamaha and the Superstock event on the PBM Kawasaki.
Hopefully there’s a bit more to come from me with the BMW because last year the Kawasaki wasn’t the most stable bike - Ian Hutchinson
Hutchy has joined Ulster’s Tyco BMW team this year and has hit the ground running, undertaking an extensive pre-season testing schedule before clinching a superb rostrum in third place in the opening round of the British Superstock 1000 Championship last weekend at Silverstone.
The 11-time TT winner is full of confidence ahead of the key road races this year and is optimistic he will carry a bigger threat in the Superbike class in particular.
“I think it’s fairly obvious I’m going to be in a better place than I was last year because I’d come off a terrible year with the Yamaha the year before,” said Hutchinson, speaking at the official launch of the TT in Douglas on Thursday night at the Villa Marina.
“I’d not won a TT for six years so it all kind of worked out well and running into this year it’s been perfect for me, although it doesn’t always work out like that.
“Coming off the back of some decent results last year I’ve started to enjoy racing and I don’t have to push all the time to try and get myself back to where I was.
“I went out to Spain a little bit earlier with the Superstock bike and did some work out there and in all I did 14 days of testing before the start of the season, so I did pretty much half a second before I even got to the first round of the British Championship,” he added.
“Obviously the TT is totally different but it’s not a new bike, it’s been going around here for quite a number of years now and you can what Michael [Dunlop] has done on it down to riders further down the field: they’ve all gone better than they’ve ever gone on any other bike from what I can see, so it obviously works well around here and it’s an easy bike to ride.
“Hopefully there’s a bit more to come from me with the BMW because last year the Kawasaki wasn’t the most stable bike I’ve ever ridden and it didn’t like doing jumps, that’s for sure and every time I came to a jump I lost a fair bit of time.”
The 36-year-old will also ride in the Supersport class on the TTC Yamaha R6.