Ian Hutchinson has unveiled the YZF R6 Yamahas of the Boyce Precision Engineering by Russell Racing team he will ride in the Supersport class at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT in 2022.
“I have been waiting two years to ride these bikes,” smiled the 16-time TT winner during a visit to Co Armagh. “I managed to test and race one of them at Donington last season but it has been frustrating not being able to use them for the purpose they were built.”
Backed by George and Brian Boyce’s Portadown-based company, BPE, the new Northern Ireland race team is the brainchild of Alister Russell. The Glenavy man was crew chief to Keith Amor, Cameron Donald, Guy Martin and the late William Dunlop with various teams.
“Running my own team is something that I have always wanted to do and I had approached Ian at the end of 2019.” Russell explained.
“We had a deal in place for the Supersport races at all of the international road races in 2020. We did the pre-season Spanish BSB tests at Monteblanco and Jerez at the start of the year but five days after we got back to the UK the first coronavirus lockdown was imposed.”
With international road racing wiped out by the virus in 2020 and both the NW200 and TT already cancelled for 2021, Hutchinson will ride a Raceways/Edwards Vodka Yamaha R1 in this year’s British Superstock Championship but will have to wait until next May to race the R6s between the hedges.
“I want to get back to winning at the North West and TT and these Yamahas have everything that I need to do that.” the Bingley Bullet said.
The only rider to win five TTs in a single year, Hutchinson is also the most successful Supersport rider around the Mountain course, with eight victories in the class. A three-time North West 200 winner, he claimed his first victory at Portrush in 2006 on a McAdoo Kawasaki ZX6R.
“I still love racing at the TT and I know that I can still win there,” the 41-year-old said. “It breaks me that I’ve missed so many TTs but it is what it is and I’ve still got the hunger to win there again.”
It is that desire to succeed, plus Hutchinson’s vast experience, that made him the No.1 choice to lead his new race squad, Russell explained.
“Ian is a proven winner and probably the most determined rider on the grid after all that he has been through.” he said.
“His determination to win is second to none and he can help steer us as a team because he knows what it takes to win. It is up to us to supply him with what he needs and no corners have been cut with these bikes.”
The engines of both R6s have been prepared by Yamaha tuning specialist Marcus Eschenbacher and will be shod with Metzeler rubber. Alongside backing from BPE, the new team will also have support from Caffrey International and Ivan Curran with some short circuit outings planned for 2021 around Hutchinson’s Superstock commitments.