Ian Hutchinson back on S 1000 RR
When motorcycle road racing finally resumes a familiar face will make his comeback on the BMW S 1000 RR: Ian ‘Hutchy’ Hutchinson (GBR). The 16-time TT winner returns to the TAS Racing team, with Team Principal Philip Neill, with whom he will compete in international road races and the British championship under the new banner of SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad. The project is being supported by BMW Motorrad Motorsport.
Hutchinson joined the BMW Motorrad Motorsport family in 2016 and competed for TAS Racing in road races and the Superstock class of the British Superbike Championship. Right at the start of the season, Hutchinson won the Superstock race at the North West 200 on his BMW S 1000 RR. Next was the Isle of Man TT, at which he not only won the Superstock TT, but also set a new Superstock lap record.
Hutchinson claimed no fewer than three victories on the RR at the 2016 Ulster Grand Prix and set a new world record when he topped the 134-mph mark in the event’s second Superbike race. In setting an average speed of 134.089 mph, he was crowned the ‘World’s Fastest Road Racer’. ‘Hutchy’ was no less successful at the racetrack that year. He won two races and claimed a total of nine podium finishes in the Superstock class of the BSB. Hutchinson was one of the favourites for the title, despite missing a round that clashed with his road racing commitments.
“For a road racer the TT is the main goal and we won there,” Hutchinson explained looking back. “But we did the same at the North West 200 and also took three wins in a day at the Ulster Grand Prix. That day at Dundrod included earning the accolade of world’s fastest road racers with a 134mph lap. We took Superstock wins on the TAS Racing prepared BMW S 1000 RR at all three major internationals in 2016 and we also got that all-important Superbike win to finish the season on a high.”
As well as those successes, another thing stands out in BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Bongers’ memories of that 2016 season: “It was in the Superstock race on the Isle of Man, when he set the lap record. Back then, his lap – from a standing start – was only a few seconds slower than Peter Hickman when he subsequently set his new Superbike lap record on a flying lap. That was extremely impressive – a highlight.”
At the 2017 Isle of Man TT, Hutchinson first won the Superbike race, before claiming a dominant victory in the Superstock race. He was also one of the hot favourites in the Senior TT, and was looking to get his third win of the week. Unfortunately, however, he crashed and fractured his left femur. That resulted in another break from racing, but ‘Hutchy’ once again fought back. “It is remarkable how determined and motivated he is, not just to come back and compete, but to challenge for victories,” said Bongers.
Hutchinson was back in action on the BMW S 1000 RR last November, when he appeared at the 2019 Macau Grand prix for Shaun Muir’s Milwaukee with SMT team. “The preparation time was extremely short, and you only have a very limited amount of riding time in practice in Macau. For that reason, we did not have particularly good results,” said Bongers.
Hutchinson now returns to the BMW Motorrad Motorsport family as a rider for SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad, and Bongers is certain that they can add to the success story together. “He feels right at home on our package. We have also modified our BMW S 1000 RR so that we have the gears on the right side. He has already ridden at a few tests and is still extremely quick. I am confident that he is a podium contender at the road races. And if we have enough time to test – which will hopefully be the case – then he can certainly challenge for the top step of the podium in Macau.”
And what expectations does Hutchinson have? “I enjoyed working with the whole team. It was a good relationship. The same core people are still there, so I see no reason why we cannot pick up from where we left off,” he said. “Having prepared so well in January and February I’m ready to race as soon as it is possible again.”