Record-breaking Isle of Man TT winner Ian Hutchinson has confirmed he will ride for the factory-supported Swan Yamaha in the 2011 edition of the road-racing classic.
The 31-year-old stormed to five solo victories in 2010 for Padgetts Honda, a dominant – and historic – performance that saw him surpass the previous record of 'four wins in a week', achieved by Philip McCallen in 1996.
Nonetheless, Hutchinson will embark on a new challenge in 2011 by switching to the Shaun Muir-run Swan Yamaha team, where he will participate in the Superbike, Superstock and Supersport classes for the next two years.
The announcement comes four months after Hutchinson's career was left hanging in the balance when he was involved in a horrific accident at Silverstone. Leaving him with a seriously fractured leg, Hutchinson revealed later that he even faced the prospect of losing a limb at the time.
Even so, having made his comeback in the 2010 Macau Grand Prix, he insists he is fit and ready to go for 2011 in a campaign that will also see him compete for Swan Yamaha at the Macau and Ulster Grands Prix and the North West 200. He may also participate in selected British Supersport events.
“I've been cycling on a turbo-trainer since mid-December,” he said. “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.”
In the year that the marque will be celebrating its 50th anniversary at the Isle of Man TT, Yamaha Motor UK marketing manager Simon Belton is delighted to welcome Hutchinson on board.
“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.”
Including his five victories in 2010, Hutchinson has amassed a total of eight TT wins since his first success in 2007.