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Ian Hutchinson relishing return to North West 200

'The North West is the only place where we race at over 200mph and I want to be out there doing that again in 2014' - Ian Hutchinson
Milwaukee Yamaha's Ian Hutchinson is feeling confident as the Yorkshire rider looks ahead to the Vauxhall International North West 200 in May.

The 'Bingley Bullet' made a successful comeback to take victory at the Macau Grand Prix in November after 18 months out of action, but the eight-time Isle of Man TT winner expects to be fighting fit for the Northern Ireland roads festival in May.

Hutchinson, who inspected the 8.9-mile circuit last week with Event Director, Mervyn Whyte, said: “I've had a good look around and there doesn't seem to be much that has changed since I was here in 2012. The North West is the only place where we race at over 200mph and I want to be out there doing that again in 2014.

“I am really looking forward to coming back to the North West. I haven't been here since I raced the Swan Yamaha in 2012 before I began the second round of treatment on my leg but everything is sorted now and I am ready to race.”

The 34-year-old will ride in the Supersport and Superbike classes on the Milwaukee Yamaha machines at the North West, where he achieved his last victory on the Padgett's Honda in 2010.

Hutchinson – who will compete in the MCE British Superbike Championship this year for the new FFX Yamaha team – sustained a serious leg injury at the end of the 2010 season and has been battling his way back to full fitness ever since.

He famously won five races at the TT to set a new record during a superb season on the roads, which was sadly overshadowed by the terrible injury to his left leg following a spill in the British Supersport round at Silverstone at the end of the year.

However, the English star feels back to his best and expects to be fully fit for the start of the season.

“My leg is getting stronger every day now and is a lot better than it was in Macau,” Hutchinson said. “I am training hard and I will be fully fit come the start of the season.”

Hutchinson will be joined at the North West by team-mate Josh Brookes, although their participation at the TT in shrouded in uncertainty after Milwaukee pulled its backing of Shaun Muir's team due to changes in the regulations, which restrict teams to kit systems or a spec-Motec ECU.

The North West 200 is the first of the big international meetings on the calendar, where riders reach speeds in excess of 200mph on the fastest part of the circuit.

Martin Jessopp currently holds the record for the fastest speed in a straight line at the event after nudging 208mph on the Riders Ducati in 2012.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ian Hutchinson and Mervyn Whyte
Dennis Hoffer at the Manx Grand Prix
Newcomers prepare to leave the line at the Manx Grand Prix
Ian Lougher on the Winfield Paton at the Classic TT
Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki at the Classic TT
Lee Johnston, Peter Hickman and Michael Dunlop on the Superstock podium at the Ulster Grand Prix
Lee Johnston at the Ulster Grand Prix
Ian Hutchinson on the PBM Kawasaki
Bruce Anstey won the Dundrod 150 Superbike race at the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix
Glenn Irwin will ride the Cookstown/BE Racing Supertwin Kawasaki at the Ulster Grand Prix
Guy Martin on the Tyco BMW at the Ulster Grand Prix
Lee Johnston on the East Coast/Burdens BMW at the Isle of Man TT
Lee Johnston on the East Coast/Burdens BMW at the Isle of Man TT
John McGuinness and Ryan Farquhar will again compete at the Classic TT on Paton machinery for Roger Winfield
William Dunlop will ride for the Davies Motorsport Team at the Classic TT
Glenn Irwin and Christian Elkin with Ulster GP Clerk of the Course, Noel Johnston, and Supertwins race sponsors Maxwell Freight
Peter Hickman on the Briggs Equipment BMW in the Senior TT
Guy Martin on the Tyco BMW in the Senior TT

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