Record-breaking TT winner Ian Hutchinson will for the first time battle for the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship this season as the road race ace joins the all-new FFX Yamaha team.
Hutchinson remains one of the world’s most successful road racing contenders, becoming the first rider to win five Isle of Man TT races in a week and most recently in November, celebrated an incredible victory on his return from injury to the Macau Grand Prix. The Bingley racer determinedly overcame a badly broken tibia and fibula which required several operations to save his leg and now is preparing for the new challenge. Hutchinson will enter his first full season of MCE BSB this year having previously made four appearances when he deputised for Leon Camier in 2007.
The ambitious FFX Yamaha team will also line up in the Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship with Northern Irish rider Andy Reid who progresses to the class after ending the 2013 season in the Motostar Championship, claiming three race victories from just six races.
FFX Yamaha join MCE BSB for their debut season with strong foundations, sharing technical knowledge with SMR (Shaun Muir Racing) and will be recognised as a satellite Yamaha team. The dynamic new team are backed by FFX, one of the UK’s largest independent suppliers of high quality tools, fixings and building supplies, who also became EBay UK’s largest supplier of tools in 2010.
Hutchinson said: “I have been aiming to race in the Championship for several years and I had the chance a few seasons ago but I had setbacks with my injury so this feels like a big opportunity for me. This whole season means a lot to me personally because I have done a couple of rounds before but never a whole Championship and I am excited that we have the chance to learn and progress throughout the year. MCE BSB is the highest level of racing in Britain and I have my own targets and ambitions but I am going to take it as it comes because we know we have a well-developed bike with the Yamaha and that should make my first season an easier scenario.
“I have been building on making my return to racing and that has made me more determined for sure. I have learnt a lot in the past three years and have matured as a rider although I wasn’t racing as much so I want to make this count. I want to thank everyone involved with the FFX Yamaha team and the project for giving me this chance,” added Hutchinson
Reid said: “I am looking forward to being part of this new team and making the next step in my career. I intend on having fun with the FFX Yamaha team and this is a great opportunity for me to learn and I am confident that it will really help me to develop as a rider. Every time you get on a bike you learn something new and progress and I can’t wait to get going.”
Team Principal Gary Ekerold said: “This is a fantastic announcement for 2014; to have Hutchy (Hutchinson) feature on the MCE British Superbike grid. I’m really looking forward to working with him and as a rider I don’t think he should ever be underestimated. He is renowned for his incredible success on the roads and now wants to demonstrate what he’s capable of when it comes to BSB and I believe will bring yet another dimension to the series.
“We also welcome Andy to the team in the Superstock 600 class and as an upcoming young talent this is a great opportunity for him. He achieved some impressive results in the Motostar Championship last year and is now ready to make the next step and move forward a level. We’ll do our best to help him achieve this. He’s young, fast and full of self confidence; a great combination.
“So, as a team our ambition is clear, and that is to win and be consistently at the sharp end, however our expectation, is to build steadily throughout the year and establish this team within the British Championship,” added Ekerold.
FFX General Manager Mark Skinner concluded: “It’s no secret that everyone at FFX has been waiting for the moment when the time would be right to launch our own motorcycle racing team. Many of our customers are big fans of BSB and we look forward to the season and the chance to introduce new customers to the FFX brand. ‘Hutchy’s’ epic comeback from serious injury to win the Macau Grand Prix and his qualities of speed, power, tenacity, and endurance are most certainly qualities that the FFX brand aspires to.”
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