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On-Air Now

Ian Hutchinson digs deep in Isle of Man TT return

Sat, 09 Jun 2018

Ian Hutchinson. pic: Sue Blythe
Ian Hutchinson. pic: Sue Blythe

The Honda Racing team is signing off after a positive Isle of Man TT campaign; although the results do not reflect the performance of the riders Ian Hutchinson and Lee Johnston, the squad is leaving this year’s event pleased with progress and on-going development of the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.

Hutchinson continued to impress as he made his return to the TT after breaking his leg in an accident last year. With inspirational drive and determination the ‘Bingley Bullet’ completed a total of 39 laps aboard the CBR during practice and race week, just one month after having his external frame removed.

‘Hutchy’ improved his lap times and feeling aboard the Fireblade during each session and although he didn’t finish the Senior TT, feeling he wasn’t able to complete the full race distance after the second pit stop, the Honda team are proud of his efforts this week and know it’s only a matter of time before he’s back to full speed.

Meanwhile teammate Johnston went into today’s Senior TT confident after a six-place finish in Saturday’s opening Superbike race aboard the Fireblade. With glorious conditions once again around the 37.73-mile Mountain circuit, ‘The General’ had made his way into the top-ten. However at the end of the second lap he retired with a technical issue.

With the data and information collected from the TT, the team will now start looking towards the Ulster GP, which takes place 5-11 August.

Ian Hutchinson 4

This year was always going to be a mixed year, but I made it to the TT and completed 39 laps. It’s not been easy, but it’s been good to be racing again and back on two wheels. The team has been great and we’ve had to adjust the Fireblade a lot to suit the way I have to ride with my legs this year, so a huge thanks to them for accommodating all the changes. The CBR today felt good, but I just wasn’t able to complete the six laps of the Senior. We’ve got a lot of data from this week but I am not sure how much we’ll be able to use going into next year as I’ll be in a different place with my injury and my riding style will change. But it’s positive and I feel we’ve got a good package, so I’ll go away and get myself back to full fitness and get more miles on the bikes for next year.

Lee Johnston 13

I was excited coming to the TT after the success of the NW200, things were looking strong but it’s just been one of those weeks with things not really going our way. I was disappointed not to finish the Senior today, I felt strong at the start and had started to make my way up through the group. It’s obvious from the NW200 and our result in the Superbike race that we have the pace, but today it just wasn’t meant to be and sometimes that happens in racing. We have a good package and the team around me is amazing, we’ve tried lots and lots of different things over the week and collected so much data.

Jonny Twelvetrees

Team Manager

It’s a real shame Lee was forced to retire today especially after his result in the Superbike race on Saturday, we were hoping for another top-ten for him on the big bike. He was forced to retire with a technical issue, which we’ll look into and find out what the problem was, but up until that point he was running well and had broken into the top-ten. Ian well, he’s done incredibly well and it’s amazing he’s even here riding. We all knew the limitations before we arrived and it’s been difficult for him with his physical situation; it’s only a month ago he still had the frame on his leg and he’s not ridden for 12 months, so to be here racing is amazing. He’s treated the whole event sensibly without pushing outside his limits, we all know he’s capable of winning TT’s and I am sure with some further bike time he’ll be back to where he should be.


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