Roads: Hutchinson pleased with North West progress

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Ian Hutchinson left last week’s North West 200 pleased with how things had gone as he returned to action for the first time since breaking his leg at last year’s Isle of man TT.

Just a few weeks ago it had looked as though Hutchinson would be forced to sit out of this year’s road racing season, but a remarkable comeback which saw him testing the Honda Racing Fireblade just days after having the external fixator cage removed from his injured leg, will see him set off down Glencrutchery road next week.

Having turned just a few laps on his Superbike, Hutchy went in to the North West largely blind but was able to round the week out with an impressive seventh place in the first Supersport race, 11th in the feature Superbike and 13th and 12th places in the Superstock outings.

“I’m happy,” Hutchinson told MCN after the event. “It was a frustrating week as I’m impatient and want to be running at the front. We were super far away with the bikes on Tuesday and Thursday, so I wasn’t really comfortable or happy riding them. Since then we’ve put in a lot of mileage and got through the races and I’m now in a position where I’m happy with the bikes. Position-wise it wasn’t great, but lap time wise I can’t be riding too bad. The Isle of Man is a different place and I’ve just got to keep taking each day and event as it comes.

“I am weak, I’m not going to lie about it. I can’t push through the footrest like I would if I was 100% but there’s nowhere I’m thinking ‘oh my god, this is a disaster’. After riding all week, using the muscles I’ll use on a bike etc, I’m not worn out or anything so now I’ll have a week off and we’ll be good for the TT.” 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing