Ian Hutchinson will make his return to the Isle of Man TT in 2014, after the Milwaukee Yamaha Superbike Team has confirmed it will indeed compete at the Isle of Man, after previously stating it would not be present at the 2014 races.
The highly popular u-turn from the Milwaukee squad means that ‘Hutchy’, the only man to have won five TTs in a week, will compete for the first time on the Mountain since 2012, having missed the 2013 event through injury. He also missed the 2011 TT after a horrific accident at Silverstone in 2010, the same year he won all five TTs in one week. The ‘Bingley Bullet’ made an emotional return to the top step of the podium at the 2013 Macau Grand Prix.
“I was pretty frustrated when it looked like I wouldn’t be able to go back to the Isle of Man this year,” explained Hutchinson. “As soon as last year’s race was over I was already working out how to improve on the Mountain Course. I’m delighted that the team will be there and the hard work really starts now preparing to improve on last year’s lap times. Last week I was happy to find out that I’d be riding a specially built R6 Milwaukee Yamaha at the North West 200, but the TT is the big one for me in terms of road racing.”
“This is the first year since my accident in 2010 that I really feel 100% fit and ready to compete on the Mountain Course again. If I’m honest I wasn’t right in 2012 and although it was a really difficult decision not to compete last year I had to get properly sorted. The Yamaha’s will be really well set up and I’m confident that I can get in among the front runners again at the TT. Pole, fastest race lap and the win at Macau signalled to the world that I was back.”
Hutchinson will be partnered by Australian Josh Brookes in the 2014 TT Races, who has already shown potential around the Snaefell Mountain Course. Brookes set the fastest ever lap for a Newcomer at the 2013 races, lapping at 127.726mph, which was capped off by an impressive top ten finish in the Superbike Race. He was denied the chance to improve on his Superbike result when he was forced to retire from the Senior TT.
“The fans in the UK probably only associate me with the Superbike class as that’s where they are used to seeing me race, but I’ve a lot of history in the Supersport class,” said former World Supersport race winner, Brookes. “I’ve won a couple of Australian titles and two races in World Supersport, and although I’ve never ridden the R6 before, the team has a decent testing schedule planned before the TT and North West 200.”
The duo, who will both compete in the 2014 British Superbike Championship, will contest the Dainese Superbike TT, both Monster Energy Supersport TTs and the week-closing PokerStars Senior TT.
“The confirmation that the Milwaukee Yamaha Superbike Team will compete at the TT in 2014 means that we’ve got one of the highest quality line ups in living memory with more potential race winners, and most of the leading manufacturers competitively represented on the grid,” added TT and Motorsport Manager for the Isle of Man Government, Paul Phillips. “I’m particularly pleased that both of these riders will be appearing in 2014. Ian has shown incredible courage in battling back from his injury to take his place in the starting line up while it will be great to have Josh, one of the leading contenders for the BSB championship this year, racing on the Isle of Man again.”