Ian Hutchinson back to his best with new lap record at North West 200
Ian Hutchinson took his Tyco BMW to a race win in the Spidi Superstock race at the Vauxhall North West 200 with a new lap record and followed that up with a terrific second place to arch rival Michael Dunlop in a blistering Anchor Complex Superbike race that all augers well for their pending TT battle in a few weeks' time.
Hutchinson also finished second to Alastair Seeley in Thursday's Supersport race where he rode the Came BPT Yamaha of Keith Flint, front man for Prodigy The Bingley ace of course bounced back to something like his best form a year ago at the North West 200 when he registered two podium finishes taking second behind Alastair Seeley in the Superbike race and third in Superstock event, five years after a well-documented broken leg injury that required over 30 operations.
He then went on to take a satisfying treble at the TT, something that proved many doubters wrong.
On Saturday Hutchy bided his time in the Superstock five-lap thriller where up to half a dozen riders were involved in a 200mph slip-streaming battle before Hutchinson made his move on the final lap to snatch the lead at University and go on to take what was only his third North West 200 victory by 0.615secs from Peter Hickman.
Hutchinson said: "This has made my day and hopefully the teams. I knew it was going to be a fast race with the ideal conditions. However it wasn't easy, I had to become something of a mathematician to work out where I was with the others in front, beside and behind, such was the race. The Tyco BMW done an amazing job putting a great bike below me and I was delighted to bring it home for them in their home race."
Hutchinson also led the opening three laps of the Superbike race before dropping back to finish second with a minor gearbox problem.
It wasn't such plain sailing in the Supersport races battling with Seeley in the first outing losing out by 1.3secs in the end after a gripping encounter.
In Saturday's opening race Hutchy had to ride hard after a sluggish start that saw him seventh on lap one. He began making up ground and on lap three was involved in an incident at Juniper Chicane where he went underneath Lee Johnston forcing Johnston to take the slip road and drop to sixth in the end. A lap later Hutchinson's race was over when on the run from Ballysally to Magherabuoy he was forced out with a large hole in the machines radiator.
Clearly back to his brilliant best Hutchinson now heads to the TT and will be looking to emulate his unique 2010 record when he won all five solo races.