NW200: Ian Hutchinson cleared to race next week

Ian Hutchinson on the Honda Racing Fireblade at Mallory Park. 'Picture: Chris Gration.
Ian Hutchinson on the Honda Racing Fireblade at Mallory Park. 'Picture: Chris Gration.

Ian Hutchinson will compete at the Vauxhall International North West 200 next week as the Yorkshire rider makes his road racing comeback.

Event Director, Mervyn Whyte, said he has been assured by Honda Racing’s Neil Tuxworth that the team are satisfied the 38-year-old is fit enough to race.

Ian Hutchinson was forced to miss Honda Racing's main pre-season tests through injury.

Ian Hutchinson was forced to miss Honda Racing's main pre-season tests through injury.

The English rider underwent a rigorous medical carried out by the Auto Cycle Union (ACU) to obtain his racing licence last week.

Hutchinson had the external fixator removed from his left leg at the beginning of May and returned to action at a club meeting at Mallory Park on Sunday and Monday, winning two races and finishing as the runner-up in a third.

The 16-time Isle of Man TT winner broke his left leg in a crash in the Senior race last June and also had to have his ankle removed as a result of the incident.

Hutchinson rode the Honda Racing Fireblade at Mallory Park last Friday before competing in the East Midlands Racing Association meeting over the Bank Holiday weekend.

NW200 race boss Whyte said: “Neil Tuxworth has kept me informed over the past week and the team are satisfied Ian is fit and able to make his Honda Racing debut alongside team-mate, Lee Johnston.

“A three times North West winner, Ian is an experienced campaigner on the Triangle circuit and we are delighted he is making his return to road racing competition at the 2018 Vauxhall International North West 200.”

Hutchinson and Fermanagh's Lee Johnston were unveiled as Honda Racing's new line-up for the roads in December.

Meanwhile, Austrian rider Horst Saiger has been ruled out of the North West after breaking his wrist in a crash at the 8-Hour world endurance race in Slovakia.

Practice for the North West 200 commences on Tuesday.