Ian Hutchinson pens deal with new Northern Ireland team
Ian Hutchinson will spearhead the challenge for new Northern Ireland team Boyce Precision Engineering by Russell Racing at next year’s North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.
The 16-time TT winner will ride a Yamaha YZF-R6 in the Supersport class for the Co Armagh-based team, which will be led by Glenavy man Alister Russell, who was previously the crew chief for a series of top riders including Keith Amor, Cameron Donald, Guy Martin and the late William Dunlop.
Both the North West and TT were cancelled for a second consecutive year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Hutchinson is now counting down the days until he makes his roads debut for the newly-established team on the north coast.
The Bingley Bullet said: “I want to get back to winning at the North West and TT and these Yamahas have everything that I need to do that.
“I still love racing at the TT and I know that I can still win there.
“It breaks me that I’ve missed so many TTs but it is what it is and I’ve still got the hunger to win there again.”
The 41-year-old had a deal in place to ride for the NI team last year before the plans were thrown into disarray by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I’ve been waiting two years to ride these bikes,” Hutchinson said
“I managed to test and race one of them at Donington last season but it has been frustrating not to be able to use them for the purpose they were built.”
Hutchinson concentrated on the National Superstock 1000 Championship in 2020 after most road races were cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
He will again compete in the series this year for the newly-formed Edwards 1902 Yamaha team, which is a sister team of the McAMS Yamaha BSB squad, benefitting from full support from Raceway Motorcycles and Yamaha UK.
Famed for his historic five-timer at the TT in 2010, Hutchinson is the most successful rider in the Supersport class at the TT with eight wins – one more than Ballymoney’s Michael Dunlop.
He has also won three times at the North West 200, taking his maiden success around the 8.9-mile ‘Triangle’ course in 2006 on a McAdoo Kawasaki.
Hutchinson has fought a well-documented battle with injury after sustaining a serious leg injury in a crash at Silverstone at the end of the 2010 season.
His resilience and determination to succeed enabled him to return to winning ways at the TT, although his form dipped after he broke the same leg again in a crash in the Senior TT in 2017.
However, team principal Russell feels the tough-as-teak English rider will soon be knocking on the door of more big race victories.
“Ian is a proven winner and probably the most determined rider on the grid after all that he has been through,” he said.
“His determination to win is second to none and he can help steer us as a team because he knows what it takes to win.
“It is up to us to supply him with what he needs and no corners have been cut with these bikes.”
The engines for Hutchy’s Yamaha R6 machines have been prepared by top Yamaha tuner Marcus Eschenbacher.
Alongside backing from Portadown firm Boyce Precision Engineering, the new team will also be supported by Caffrey International and Ivan Curran.
Hutchinson plans to fit in in some short circuit rounds this season on the Yamaha R6, although his main focus is on the Superstock 1000 Championship.
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