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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
2015 Isle of Man TT Races.
Stars of the official launch of the 2016 North West 200
John McGuinness at the start of the Senior TT in 2015.
Jeremy McWilliams on the KMR Kawasaki at the North West 200 in 2015.
Action from the 2015 Ulster Grand Prix
Ian Hutchinson on the Tyco BMW Superbike at Cartagena in Spain.
Lee Johnston will ride for Sarolea Racing in the TT Zero race.
Gary Johnson will ride the T3 Triumph at the 2016 Isle of Man TT.
Seamus Elliott
Victor Cox will make his debut at the Isle of Man TT in 2016.
Shaun Harris at the Isle of Man TT in 2007.
Ian Hutchinson has been awarded the Torrens Trophy for 2015.
Josh Daley
Ian Hutchinson on the PBM Kawasaki at the Macau Grand Prix.
John McGuinness on the Honda Racing Fireblade at the Macau Grand Prix.
Peter Hickman on the Briggs BMW at the Macau Grand Prix
Peter Hickman on the Briggs BMW at the Macau Grand Prix

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