Eleven-times Isle of Man TT winner Ian Hutchinson has joined Tyco BMW for the international road races in 2016.
The Bingley Bullet, who won his first races at the TT this season in five years following a serious accident at Silverstone in a British Supersport race that nearly ended his career in 2010, will ride a factory-backed S1000RR Superbike for the Northern Ireland team plus a Superstock machine.
Hutchy caused a sensation at the TT in June as the 36-year-old sealed a hat-trick in the Supersport and Superstock races, silencing those doubters who said he would never add another win to his record on the Mountain Course, where he made history with an unprecedented five-timer in 2010 only months before he sustained a serious leg injury.
The Yorkshireman enjoyed a stunning revival in Paul Bird's Kawasaki team and clinched a Supersport double at the TT on the Team Traction Control Yamaha R6 for Prodigy star and bike racing fanatic Keith Flint.
However, following Bird's decision to change to Ducati Panigale R machinery for the MCE British Superbike Championship next year, Hutchinson – set to have his final ride on the PBM Kawasaki at Macau in November – was on the lookout for a new team and had no hesitation in joining forces with Philip Neill's TAS Racing squad.
“We've been in negotiations for a couple of months but I've always been serious about coming to the team for next year. I'm really looking forward to getting going now with Tyco BMW,” Hutchinson said.
“After pretty much four years away from the sport I now need a bit of consistency. BMW is a huge brand and along with Philip Neill at TAS, they have shown how much they want to be involved with me for next season.
“That enthusiasm sold it to me and with direct support from BMW Motorrad it was hard to turn down.”
TAS Racing has also confirmed a two-year extension to its agreement with BMW Motorrad to be the German manufacturer's official team in the British Superbike Championship and international road races in 2016 and 2017.
Team manager Philip Neill added: “Hutchy was undoubtedly the dominant force at this year's TT. So to sign him up for 2016 is hopefully a big enough statement from both BMW Motorrad and TAS Racing, as to our aspirations for next season.
“We've talked about working together previously and it didn't quite come to fruition, but I think we've joined forces at the best possible time. I believe Ian can add to his international road racing success next season on BMW Motorrad machinery with the support of TAS Racing.”
Hutchinson is also set to compete in the National Superstock 1000 Championship to aid his preparations for the TT.
In addition to the iconic Mountain race, he will also compete at the North West 200, Ulster Grand Prix and Macau Grand Prix next season.
Meanwhile, Guy Martin's plans remain unclear after the Grimsby rider announced on his official YouTube channel that he had made a definite decision for 2016, which 'may upset a few people'.
The cryptic statement could mean that he will sit out the Isle of Man TT to compete in a challenging mountain bike race – the Tour Divide – in North America instead, which clashes with the two-week festival.
Martin, though, may compete in selected road races for Tyco BMW such as the Southern 100, Ulster Grand Prix and Scarborough meetings.
Ulsterman William Dunlop parted company from TAS Racing at the beginning of October after two seasons and is set to take on a new challenge next year with loyal backer Chris Dowd, who runs the CD Racing team.