Ian Hutchinson will embark on his first full season of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in 2012 after signing for the Swan Yamaha team.
The five-time winner of the isle of Man TT has in fact only ever competed in four BSB races. Back in 2007, Hutchinson deputised for Leon Camier, but he will now line up in BSB as a contender in his own right following a determined comeback from a broken tibia and fibula which required drastic operations in order to save his leg.
Hutchinson said: “Next year is definitely a big one for me and I have never been looking forward to a season so much. I am glad that I had the opportunity to race at the end of this year as I have always had faith in my own ability but I just needed to prove to any doubters that I could still race. I have wanted to race in BSB for about five years but the right opportunity has never been there and that makes 2012 a big year for me. For the last three years I have won in the British Supersport and National Superstock classes, but I haven’t really had full seasons to be able to fight for the title. Now I have the chance to do some real testing before the start of the season and get my head down so we can make real progress and I am definitely ready to be in BSB full-time.
“I did get a brief run in BSB back in 2007, but it was only for two rounds and I didn’t have the chance to show what I am capable of but now with Shaun and the team I can. I think that the knowledge I have of riding a Superbike on the roads will benefit me, and in that respect the new rules will too as I have never ridden with all the gizmos. I tested the Yamaha before Macau and I think it is a great bike to ride and everything about it feels good so I can’t see any reason why I can’t run at the front. Having Tommy as a team-mate will also be great for me as we have got on so well this year when I have been in the garage, I think between us we can do a great job for the team. That time with the team already means I already feel at home, so we can pick up where we left off rather than have that ‘new season’ feeling to begin with.
“I am over my injury now; I currently still use the right-hand gear shift that the team adapted for me to run at Macau but it is not a concern. The team have got it working perfectly for me and so I just feel ready to get out testing as soon as possible! I think having the injury and then the year on the sidelines just watching has definitely made me want it more; I want to prove that I can still be successful and I am determined to show that next year. The crash doesn’t faze me; I don’t think of it as traumatic, but just an experience and that I was unlucky that I got hit and injured the leg so badly. As a rider it hasn’t affected me as something like that can happen at any time. Now I just want to race and my aim is to get the results myself and the team deserve both in BSB and at the TT.”