TT legend Ian Hutchinson agrees terms with Tyco BMW
Eleven-time TT winner Ian Hutchinson will join forces with enigmatic TV personality Guy Martin for a joint assault on next year's International Road Racing scene, having agreed terms this week with Moneymore-based Tyco BMW.
Hutchinson, whose career looked to be over after horrific leg injuries sustained in a crash at Silverstone back in 2010, is ready to put Hector and Philip Neill's TAS Racing team back on the Isle of Man TT map in 2016.
Without a win on the most famous 37.73-miles of racing tarmac since 2008, it has always been team owner Hector Neill's ambition to again win the coveted Senior TT, which he first won with Norman Brown in 1983.
With the Bingley rider now onboard, both BMW Motorrad and TAS Racing will have a realistic chance of making that dream become reality. The 36-year-old scored an Isle of Man TT hat-trick back in June, and with the support of Tyco BMW, he firmly believes he can add to those 11 career wins next June.
Hutchinson said: "The deal has been in negotiations for a couple of months, but I've been serious about coming to the team for quite a while, and I'm really looking forward to getting going on the BMWs."
Hutchinson was picked up by Paul Bird's PBM Motorsport team midway through 2014 after he had parted company with Milwaukee Yamaha. Bird's gamble ultimately paid off, with a TT Superstock victory and two Superbike podiums back in June.
"In an ideal world it would have been great to carry on with PBM, and I really appreciate everything Paul and his team did for me this year," said Hutchinson, who will make his swansong with the team during November's Macau Grand Prix.
There has been much talk of his soon-to-be team-mate Guy Martin retiring from the sport in 2016. The hot rumours are currently unsubstantiated, but Hutchy is unconcerned.
"It doesn't matter to me who my team-mate is," he said. "I'll be focusing on the job in hand with the team. Guy has done a good job this year on the Tyco BMW and his lap speed at the TT really showed the potential of the bike to me.
"Guy's going to surely give me something to work with and maybe he will gain from me being in the team as well. Ultimately Philip and the boys there to win races and I'd say they would class me as their big opportunity to do that."