Road Racing News

Double H Combination Is On! – Hutchinson Signs For Honda

After the consistent talk of is he joining Honda, has he parted company with Tyco BMW, the rumours and gossip have firmly stopped today with the confirmation that Ian Hutchinson will link up with Honda Racing for the 2018 International roads season.

Previously a works Honda rider in 2007, the Bingley racers decision to re join the most successful marque in TT history is considered bold and brave by some, and by others as risky and a big gamble.

Photo by Honda Racing

Set to pilot the CBR 1000RR Fireblade SP2 in Superstock and Superbike trim at the North West 200, TT and Ulster Grand Prix, it’s going to be interesting to see how competitive he will be on a machine which proved immensely troublesome throughout 2017.

With a years testing and race action behind it, it’s anticipated to be a potent machine next year, the question remains though even with further research and development can it be a match to the likes of Suzuki’s GSX-R 1000 and in particular the 1000cc machine of choice at present, BMW’s S1000RR.

In 30 times international road race winner Hutchinson, Honda have signed a rider who is known for his visceral determination and huge will to win.

Speaking about securing the 16 times TT winners services for 2018, Honda Racing, Team Manager Jonny Twelvetrees said:

“Hutchy’s record speaks for itself and especially so when he’s been on a Honda. Whilst always being aware of his determination and professionalism, this has been highlighted to me even more so when striking up the deal.

I’m looking forward to seeing him on the SP2 at our opening test, he has plenty of past experience on the Fireblade, so I’m sure it won’t take him too long until he’s pushing on and able to feedback what he needs.”

Honda returnee Hutchinson added:

“I’m really looking forward to getting started with Honda Racing; it’s a new challenge and a fresh start for me.

I suppose I have quite a bit of history with Honda, ten years ago I rode with this official team and in 2009/2010 I rode with Padgetts Honda, where I scored five TT wins in a week, so I know the Fireblade pretty well.

I haven’t ridden the Fireblade SP2 yet and will have to wait until we go testing early next year, but I can’t wait to start making some progress.

The Honda team has a lot of experience at the TT and its history speaks for itself with the wins and successes over the years, it’s also nice to see a lot of the team still here who I worked with in the past, so I’m confident that come the New Year we can get started and start aiming to where we want to be.”

Words by Stevie Rial