Pit­stops key to Hutchy win

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

Ian Hutchin­son ar­rived on the Isle of Man with a bike he had asked his Tyco BMW team to build to his ex­act spec­i­fi­ca­tion.

“Two weeks be­fore the North West 200 the team built me a brand new bike which is ba­si­cally a su­per­stock bike with a su­per­bike en­gine,” the Bri­tish Su­per­stock se­ries rider ex­plained.

“It was ei­ther go­ing to work or not, it was my choice. They went with it and mas­sive thanks to them for trust­ing what I thought was go­ing to work.”

He also per­suaded Philip Neill to aban­don his team’s long as­so­ci­a­tion with Met­zeler tyres and make the shift to Dun­lop rub­ber, but the 37-year-old ad­mit­ted he wasn’t sure if he had a bike ca­pa­ble of win­ning dur­ing the early laps of Sun­day’s race.

“I didn’t re­ally know what was what, I just knew the bike felt a bit sloppy in prac­tice so we stiff­ened it up for the race,” he ex­plained.

“I’m still try­ing to learn how to ride on the Dun­lop tyres and it was so dif­fer­ent to how I was rid­ing last year. I was a bit lost on lap one and my first board said P4 which I was ex­pect­ing be­cause I had been strug­gling on the run to Glen He­len.”

With so much rain dur­ing prac­tice week the track con­di­tions were dif­fi­cult for ev­ery­one but espe­cially so for Hutchy who was try­ing to build con­fi­dence with the new tyres.

“The harder you try some­times the worse it feels and you sort of get a sink­ing feel­ing that you haven’t got the pace to win and you al­most want to give in,” he said.

“There’s no rub­ber on the track, there’s no grip and it feels re­ally vague tip­ping in so I just smoothed it out and got bet­ter as the race went on re­ally. Ob­vi­ously I had a bit of luck with a few peo­ple go­ing out in the race,” he added, re­fer­ring to Dun­lop’s dis­ap­point­ment on the Suzuki.

The 15-times TT win­ner also needed all the help he could get from his Tyco BMW squad who turned around a se­ries of slow pit­stops in 2016 to eclipse the op­po­si­tion this time around.

His BMW ri­val, Peter Hick­man, was five sec­onds faster on the road dur­ing the race but the Smith’s crew lost eight sec­onds to the Tyco team over the two stops.

“We prac­tised our stops on the drive­way of the house and we were still do­ing them at nine this morn­ing on Dou­glas Head,” Hutchy smiled.

‘The harder you try, the worse it feels and you get a sink­ing feel­ing’

IAN HUTCHIN­SON

The Tyco team’s pit­stops proved cru­cial in the Su­per­bike TT

Hutchy kept his head down

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