‘The BMW is the best bike. Michael Dun­lop knows what he needs to win TTS and if he thought some­thing was bet­ter, he’d be on it straight away’

Ian Hutchin­son af­ter test­ing his new TT Tyco BMW

Motorcycle News (UK) - - News - By Stephen Dav­i­son MCN ROADS REPORTER

It might seem hard to be­lieve that a fac­tory racer would pack his new bike into the back of a van, buy a ferry ticket and drive from York­shire to Spain to have his first test on a new ma­chine but that is ex­actly what Tyco BMW’S 2016 re­cruit, Ian Hutchin­son, did last week.

The 11-times TT win­ner chose to go it alone to Alme­ria, with­out any me­chan­ics or elec­tron­ics wizards in tow, as he com­pleted his first test on the new BMW S1000RR that he hopes will bring him TT glory in June.

“I had high ex­pec­ta­tions and I wasn’t dis­ap­pointed,” Hutchy said af­ter his first taste on the stocker ver­sion of the Ger­man su­per­bike.

“The big­gest thing is the power de­liv­ery, it is just so smooth you don’t even re­alise how fast you are go­ing. Ev­ery­one who’s rid­den the bike seems to love it and they were right. It’s the first time I’ve gone out on day one on a new bike and felt re­ally com­fort­able.”

What makes the 36-year-old’s Span­ish odyssey all the more re­mark­able is that the track day test at Alme­ria was the first time he’s rid­den a BMW. Most of us wouldn’t buy a bike with­out tak­ing it for a spin but Hutchy has no qualms about sign­ing a con­tract to race the BMW on the world’s tough­est track with­out a prior test.

“As pro­fes­sional rac­ers we can pretty much throw our leg over any­thing and ride it,” he smiled. “It’s a bike, it’s 1000cc, it’s an in­line four and it’s go­ing to be sim­i­lar to lots of other bikes I’ve rid­den be­fore. The im­por­tant thing is that BMW is on top of the job at the mo­ment.”

There were no transpon­ders or lap times as the for­mer me­chanic fet­tled his ma­chine in his brand new leathers.

“I just wanted to have a go on my own, not to set a lap time or break any records, just to ride round and get re­ally com­fort­able with what a stan­dard BMW feels like,” he ex­plained.

“Then when I ride the su­per­bike I will know what the bike is sup­posed to feel like with a stan­dard set­ting and know which way I want to go with it rather than try to turn it into some­thing that I’ve rid­den in the past.”

The test was the start of an in­tense month of pre-sea­son tri­als for the Bin­g­ley Bul­let, with an­other four-day ses­sion at Cartagena this week fol­lowed by a re­turn to Alme­ria for a Bmw-only test and then a Metzeler tyre event. Along the way Hutchy hopes to ride the Team Trac­tion Con­trol Yamaha R6 he will use in this year’s Su­per­sport road races.

“I want to get as much time on the bike be­fore the TT as I can.”

It is a well-worn path for the wily York­shire­man. The hun­dreds of laps he com­pleted on the PBM Kawasakis last win­ter helped him net a Su­per­stock TT vic­tory plus Su­per­bike and Se­nior race podi­ums in 2015. A Su­per­sport dou­ble com­pleted a glo­ri­ous come­back from his hor­rific 2010 leg in­jury.

“I said what I wanted with this bike and it has turned up with ev­ery­thing I asked for on it,” he says.

For Hutchy and many other rac­ers, the mods and tweaks that give a bike that per­sonal touch are ac­tu­ally quite small things. John Mcguin­ness uses wider han­dle­bars and big­ger footrests on his fac­tory Honda at the TT to make it more com­fort­able. At Alme­ria Hutchy changed the han­dle­bar grips and added some ex­tra pad­ding to the seat af­ter the open­ing ses­sion.

When all of th­ese lit­tle tweaks are com­bined they cre­ate the feel that Hutchy is look­ing for but per­haps more im­por­tantly, they give him a re­as­sur­ance in both the ma­chine and the team that bol­sters his con­fi­dence for the bat­tles ahead.

“I know where I want to be sat, how I want it to feel,” he ex­plains. “That’s your first step on a bike. It is es­pe­cially im­por­tant at the TT be­cause you are on the bike for so long. I never felt that com­fort­able on the Su­per­stock bike last year and it never re­ally felt like my bike. This bike feels like my bike al­ready.”

Famed for his me­thod­i­cal prepa­ra­tion, Hutchy knows ex­actly what equip­ment he needs to suit his style.

“I’ve been do­ing it long enough to be able to make my own mind up,” he says.

“I’ve for­got­ten how many times I’ve said to team own­ers: ‘You tell me how much you want me to go and win a TT but you don’t lis­ten to me.’”

Hutchy cites his ex­pe­ri­ence with the R6 in the Mil­wau­kee Yamaha squad in 2014 and Keith Flint’s Team Trac­tion Con­trol out­fit last year as a com­par­i­son.

“I rode the R6 in 2014 and there were lit­tle things I wanted but none got done

‘As pro­fes­sional rac­ers we can pretty much throw our leg over any­thing and ride’

and the bike was hor­ri­ble,ó he says.

Òthen last year I jumped on an R6 with no prac­tice and said I want th­ese things, five lit­tle things, and they were all put on and the first time out it was ex­actly what I wanted to ride. I felt com­fort­able on it and won two TTS. Itõs not rocket sci­ence.ó

One spe­cial mod to the Tyco BMW is the right hand gear change that the Bin­g­ley man has been forced to use as a re­sult of his leg in­jury.

ÒWE did a lot of work on it last year and Stu­art Bland [his crew chief at PBM Kawasaki] got it sorted,ó Hutchy says.

Òthe Tyco team have pretty much repli­cated all the an­gles and so on to make it work on this bike.ó

He also says it was vi­tal for him that Tyco BMW used K Tech sus­pen­sion on the S1000RRS.

Òthose guys un­der­stand what I need. There are other com­pa­nies that are huge glob­ally, but how much in­ter­est do they have in one per­son at the TT? K Tech have that in­ter­est,ó he asks.

This sin­gle-minded ap­proach in find­ing the equip­ment he wants to build­ing a bike to suit him has been the cor­ner­stone of Hutchyõs suc­cess but did his first ride on the BMW sug­gest he has a bike that can knock Mcguin­nessõs Honda off its Se­nior TT win­ning perch?

ÒI havenõt rid­den it around the TT yet, and that is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent place, but Iõve seen a lot of other rid­ers who have had suc­cess in their own right around there on a BMW.

ÒIT is go­ing to suit the long races at the TT and al­though Iõve en­joyed suc­cess on Hon­das I think it is time now for me to change which bike I win TT races on.ó

‘I just wanted to have a go on my own, not to set a lap time or break any records’

No lap times, but Hutchy was very happy

You’d exp ect there to be staff for this… No tech­ni­cians, just Hutchy in his new leathers

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