At the 2010 Isle of Man TT, Ian Hutchinson immediately became a legend, winning all five solo races on Padgetts Honda machinery; his performance shattered Philip McCallen’s 1996 record of four victories in a week.
And though many thought he’d stick with Honda, Hutchinson announced Wednesday that he will lead Yamaha’s factory effort at the 2011 Isle of Man TT. This will be Yamaha’s 50th year competing at the IOMTT, and the first year since 1973 that the Japanese manufacturer was involved in a full factory effort.
Hutchinson signed a two-year deal with Yamaha. The Bingley racer will ride a factory-specification YZF-R1 in a team managed by Shaun Muir and sponsored by Monster Energy. Muir will also supply Hutchy with Yamaha Superstock and R6 Supersport motorcycles.
This news arrives as Hutchinson continues to recover from a horrific accident that occurred in September. Hutchinson’s 2010 racing season came to a very dramatic end very after he suffered a first-lap crash during the British Supersport Championship at Silverstone.
During the wreck, Hutchinson was run over by a fellow racer, and sustained compound fractures to both his tibia and fibula. Although a long recovery was in store, Hutchinson reported last week that he hopes to return at the first round of BSB at Brand Hatch in April.
The strong-willed Hutchinson, who also will race the Macau and Ulster Grand Prixs, and the North West 200, will be looking for his eighth victory at the 2011 Isle of Man TT. But to acheive such a goal takes much work, and he’s been training extensively in preparation for the 2011 racing year.
Ian Hutchinson says: "I’ve been cycling on a turbo-trainer since mid-December. Initially I struggled to do five minutes, now I can do 40 and get my heart-rate up to 192, with an average of 184. That was all I could do before the accident."
Simon Belton (Yamaha Motor UK Ltd Marketing Manager) says: "The TT Races has been a huge part of Yamaha’s development as a company over the last 50 years and we are delighted to have Ian on board to spearhead our challenge in 2011 as he has proved himself to be one of the leading TT riders."
Allan Bell (Isle of Man Economic Development Minister) says: "We are delighted that Yamaha has increased their commitment to the TT Races and it is a sign of the event’s growing strength that we now have factory supported teams from all four leading Japanese manufacturers as well as many other leading European brands."
Pic 1: Hutchy on Yamaha R1
Pics 2-5: Hutchy at 2010 IOMTT aboard Padgetts Honda