Hutch has a touch of class
Ian Hutchinson was the fastest man in road racing when he lapped the Dundrod Circuit at over 130mph in 2006 and in the same year won the second supersport race at the NW200, setting a new lap record in the process.
And the man from Bingley in Yorkshire hopes to scale similar heights again tomorrow.
Sadly, on his NW200 debut in 2004, ‘Hutchy’ crashed within the first few hundred yards of practice, injuring a leg and putting him out of the meeting. As he simply states: “I put the bike into a wall.”
Unfortunately for Hutchinson tomorrow will be his first race meeting of 2009 due to winter sponsorship deals going sour, but he lines up for the competitive Padgetts of Batley Team on Honda machines and in qualifying on Tuesday evening was 13th fastest on his superbike and fifth in the ultra-competitive supersport class where five seconds covered the top six competitors.
The tall, thin Hutchinson said: “I had been speaking to Clive and other teams over the winter with a view to doing BSB, but then on returning from Macau I found options had closed for me in BSB unfortunately.
“Clive had already signed his BSB riders, but offered me the lifeline of riding at the North West and TT for him and I jumped at the opportunity as they would be two of my favourite meetings and I have ambitions to win at each meeting again.”
Of qualifying, Hutchinson said: “On the superbike I tried a different rear tyre on the machine, but it just didn’t work, as there was a stability problem with the bike, by the time we got it sorted the session was over.
“The supersport machine was mega and we are in the ballpark for a good result there.
“Padgett’s machines are well to the fore in the British Superstock Championship and we are confident we can give the TAS Suzuki’s a good run for their money.”
Hutchinson would dearly love to add to his solitary victory at the North West saying: “I can win in any class. The machines I have from Padgett’s are race-winning bikes and it will be down to me to do the business on Saturday.
“I really enjoy coming to the event as it has a mega atmosphere and if Saturday is a sunny day it is fantastic racing with massive crowds lining the circuit.
“The high-speed close racing is a real adrenalin buzz and to win a race would be fantastic. I’m just glad to be back on a bike again and intend to make the best of the opportunity.”