Ian Hutchinson will not ride in Honda Racing’s first test of the 2018 season at Monteblanco next week as he continues to recover from the leg injuries he sustained at last year’s Isle of Man TT.
The 16-time TT winner broke his left leg and ankle – the same leg that suffered those horrific injuries in 2010 - in a crash while leading the Senior TT, but was adamant he’d return to the mountain course this year.
Having signed a deal to move from Tyco BMW to the Honda Racing team for 2018, it was initially hoped that he would be fit enough to ride the bike during Honda’s pre-season testing programme which commences at Monteblanco in Spain next week. However, with the external fixator frame still on his leg, he’ll miss next week’s test and turn attention to being fit for further testing in April.
Being fit for the first test was always a long shot for Hutchinson, who said last year that his ultimate goal is to be fit for the start of the international road racing season in May.
“I’ve not got any specific targets as to when I want to be back on a bike,” he said. “Last time it happened, I was panicking so much about timescale all the time. I wanted to be back in a certain amount of time and it ended up going on for three years.
“This time, I rang my surgeon and said the timescale is to ride at the TT next year, so he’s had a load more time than was needed whereas last time the targets weren’t realistic. Ultimately the plan is to be ready for May, when the season starts, but hopefully we will get some testing in before that.”
Despite not riding, Hutchinson will still attend the Monteblanco test, which takes place between Monday-Wednesday next week, in support of his team as Lee Johnston makes his debut on the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.