Three-time North West 200 race winner, Ian Hutchinson will be re-united with the Milenco Padgett’s Honda squad for a full-scale onslaught on the Superbike, Superstock and Supersport races at the 2024 Briggs North West 200 in May.
The move marks another inspiring comeback for the 44 year old during a career that has seemed to be an almost relentless battle against injury and illness since he last raced full-time with the Yorkshire-based team during 2010.
Hutchinson’s stunning ten race winning run with the Padgett’s team at that season’s NW200, Isle of Man TT, Ulster Grand Prix and Scarborough Gold Cup ended when he sustained a serious leg injury at Silverstone in September 2010.
After enduring more than 40 operations, the ‘Bingley Bullet’ eventually fought his way back into contention to claim victory in the 2013 Macau Grand Prix plus, a third win at the NW200 in 2016 and eight more TT triumphs before he crashed and broke his leg again during the 2017 Senior TT.
Battling back to fitness again, Hutchy returned to road racing with Honda in 2018, riding a Padgetts prepared CBR600RR to 7th and 16th place finishes in the Supersport class at the NW200.
After Covid wiped out the major road races during 2020 and 2021, Hutchy returned to action in 2022 before being hit by yet another health scare when he suffered a stroke while cycling in Spain during February 2023.
“I was well prepared for 2023 with a lot of testing and training in Spain before I had the stroke.” Hutchinson says.
“It was taken away from me again but I have done what I’ve always done and carried on training. I’ve done it for years and years. I did it when I had a frame on my leg after 2010 so that I can be ready to go when I need to be because I have never thought it was time to quit. Despite everything that has happened I have always wanted to keep racing.”
After numerous medical tests, including extra interventions imposed by the sport’s governing body, the ACU, the Yorkshireman has been given a clean bill of health and his race licence is set to be renewed on March 1.
Hutchy has not been sitting on his hands waiting for that process to be completed. After taking part in a recent track day at Croft he has been riding in Spain, including an outing at Almeria on the Milenco Superstock-spec Honda he will ride in 2024.
“I am a realist.” he says.
“It would be a miracle to come back and win. I made it happen in Macau in 2013 after the 2010 crash. I never gave up on it then. I know where I am now and I know where I can be. Only I can see that.”
“We are delighted to be racing with Hutchy at the North West 200 again.” team boss, Clive Padgett, says.
“‘It is a match made in heaven. Our record-breaking winning run together began at the North West in 2010 and it is a meeting that has always been close to our hearts.”