Ian Hutchinson’s fightback from injury looks to have made big progress this week as he took his first spin on Honda’s CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 at Mallory Park.
It's understood the Bingley Bullet had the external fixator cage removed from his leg earlier this week and, determined to be fit for this year’s North West 200 and Isle of Man TT, was back on a bike for the first time on Friday.
It is the first time Hutchinson has ridden a motorcycle, except from up and down the paddock at Honda’s test in Monteblanco, since he crashed out of the Senior TT last June.
"It was a nice feeling to be back on a bike," Hutchinson said. "I really appreciate the masses of support I've had from fans."
MCN understands the 16-time TT winner will participate in a number of other private tests before a final decision before a decision is taken on whether he'll race the North West 200 later this month.
Speaking in April, Hutchinson said he wasn’t too concerned about a lack of testing: “Hopefully [we can] do the North West 200 and, weather dependent, you get plenty of riding done there at high speed on the road. That’s pretty much all I need. Hopefully then I can just chip away during practice week on the Isle of Man and make some progress before the races start.”
Hutchinson’s progress will be welcome news to TT organisers, who are facing the absence of a number of major stars this year with Bruce Anstey out and John McGuinness unlikely to line-up on Glencrutchery road later this month.