Ian Hutchinson will not defend his record-breaking five Isle of Man TT wins this year after losing his battle to get fit in time for the 2011 event.
The 31-year-old re-wrote the record books in 2010 when he managed a clean sweep of five solo victories, but his hopes of repeating that feat this year have been curtailed by ongoing problems with a leg injury.
Hutchinson, who had moved to SMR Yamaha for 2011 to compete in the TT and North West 200 road races, as well as the British Supersport Championship season, has been battling fitness problems since a serious accident at Silverstone last September left him with a fractured tibia and fibula.
Despite undergoing 16 operations and skin grafts, doctors have advised Hutchinson to miss out the NW200 and TT for the benefit of his long-term career, much to his obvious disappointment.
“I'm gutted not to be able to compete at the TT Races this year,” he said. “I've done everything I could to be there but I've just run out of time. I have to listen to the advice of the surgeon and think of my long-term fitness.
“This has only made me more determined to get back on the bike and return to racing later this year. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank both Yamaha and Shaun Muir for being so supportive and I'm looking forward to the chance to repay them.”
Though Hutchinson made a determined effort to get back to fitness, even strapping water bottles to his leg during stints in hospital in an effort to 'work out', Swan Yamaha team manager Shaun Muir will look forward.
“Everyone at Yamaha is really disappointed for Ian who has worked so hard to get back to fitness but we have always said that this is a two year deal and we look forward to seeing him return to the TT Races in 2012.”
Hutchinson will nonetheless still be present at the TT, riding the Arai Parade Lap with Nicky Hayden and Mick Doohan.