2012 British Superbike
What Isle of Man TT fan could forget the name Ian Hutchinson? The 32-year-old West Yorkshire native went on to win all five solo races in the 2010 Isle of Man TT, immediately entering the history books.
But after amazing the 2010 IOM TT crowds, Hutchy crashed at Silverstone while competing in British Supersport, breaking his leg. This injury sidelined Hutchinson for most of 2011, including the 2011 Isle of Man TT. Hutchy did compete at the Macau Grand Prix in November, though, taking the final podium position.
But for 2012, Hutchy plans to be fully back to competition; besides the 2012 Isle of Man TT, where he’ll compete against main rivals Guy Martin (Suzuki) and John McGuinness (Honda), Hutchinson will contest his first complete season in the British Superbike Championship.
Hutchy has signed with Swan Yamaha, and will join the reigning British Superbike Champion Tommy Hill aboard a Yamaha YZF-R1.
Ian Hutchinson (Swan Yamaha YZF-R1) says: "Next year is definitely a big one for me and I have never been looking forward to a season so much. I am glad that I had the opportunity to race at the end of this year as I have always had faith in my own ability, but I just needed to prove to any doubters that I could still race.
"I have wanted to race in BSB for several years, but the right opportunity has never been there and that makes 2012 a big year for me. For the last three years I have won in the British Supersport and National Superstock classes, but I haven’t really had full seasons to be able to fight for the title. I think the knowledge I have of riding a Superbike on the roads will help me, and in that respect the new rules will too as I have never ridden with all the gizmos.
"I tested the Swan Yamaha before Macau and it is a great bike to ride; everything about it feels good so I can’t see any reason why I can’t run at the front.
"I am over my injury now; I currently still use the right-hand gear shift that the team adapted for me to run at Macau, but it is not a concern. The team have got it working perfectly for me so I just feel ready to get out testing as soon as possible.
"I think the injury and the year just watching from the sidelines has definitely made me want it more; I want to prove that I can still be successful and I am determined to show that.
"The crash doesn’t faze me and I don’t think of it as traumatic, but as an experience. I was just unlucky that I got hit and injured the leg so badly. As a rider it hasn’t affected me as something like that can happen at any time.
"Now I just want to race and my aim is to get the results myself and the Swan Yamaha team deserve both in BSB and at the TT."
Shaun Muir (Swan Yamaha Team Owner) says: "Everyone at SMR has been working behind the scenes since the end of the 2011 season. Our goals as a team and for Yamaha are to win the BSB title and win at the Isle of Man TT. We reviewed our options carefully and I have been impressed with Ian Hutchinson, not only his race craft but also his ability to work with the team and his determination to return from injury.
"He has spent a lot of time in the garage with us this year and his recent performance at the Macau Grand Prix proved he is over his injury now. Hutchy will be with the team for two seasons (2012 and 2013) and we are committed to him; I really want to turn him into the complete racer that can win in both disciplines. He has the potential so we want to be able to give him the opportunity to excel."
Mark Alldred (Swan marketing manager at Republic Technologies (UK)) says: "We are delighted that Tommy is back to run the number one plate and also to have such a successful TT rider with Ian as we prepare for our first visit to the Isle of Man. We wish them both the best of luck for the new season."