After an announcement in early January that Milwaukee Power Tools had withdrawn its support of Shaun Muir’s Yamaha team, due to a major rule changes that restricted the use of aftermarket ECUs, it looked as though Ian Hutchinson and Josh Brookes might have had to sit out this year’s Isle of Man TT; and had the team been forced to run factory ECUs, it would have placed them at a serious disadvantage and left them unable to be competitive.
Although there is no word on exactly how the team managed to negotiate an exception to the new rule change, the Isle of Man TT Press Office has confirmed that Ian Hutchinson and Josh Brookes will be riding for the Milwaukee Yamaha Team in this year’s TT. Both riders are scheduled to compete in the Dainese Superbike TT, two Monster Energy Supersport TT races, and the Pokerstars Senior TT event.
Hutchinson and Brookes will both be piloting a Yamaha R6 for the Monster Energy Races, and an R1 for the Dainese and Pokerstars events.
Both riders have an impressive track record with Hutchinson holding eight career TT wins, five of which came in one week in 2010. Brookes had an impressive TT debut in 2013 by scoring himself a top ten finish in the Dainese Superbike TT and setting a lap record of 127.762, the fastest newcomer in TT history.
After suffering a debilitating leg break in the 2010 British Supersport event at Silverstone, Hutchinson feels he is ready to give it everything he has.
“This is the first year since my accident in 2010 that I really feel 100% fit and ready to compete on the Mountain Course again. If I’m honest I wasn’t right in 2012,” said Hutchinson.
“Although it was a really difficult decision not to compete last year I had to get properly sorted. The Yamaha’s will be really well set up and I’m confident that I can get in among the front runners again at the TT. Pole, fastest race lap and the win at Macau signaled to the world that I was back.”
Hutchinson is not the only one glad to be back, as Brookes commented on his excitement about his return after the potential disaster in January.
“I was pretty frustrated when it looked like I wouldn’t be able to go back to the Isle of Man this year. As soon as last year’s race was over I was already working out how to improve on the Mountain Course,” said Brookes. “I’m delighted that the team will be there and the hard work really starts now preparing to improve on last year’s lap times.”
While we are not sure exactly what has transpired to compel Milwaukee Power Tools to reinstate their support of Muir’s team, it seems as though everyone is pleased as Isle of Man TT and Motorsport Manager Paul Phillips noted.
“The confirmation that the Milwaukee Yamaha Superbike Team will compete at the TT in 2014 means that we’ve got one of the highest quality lineups in living memory with more potential race winners, and most of the leading manufacturers competitively represented on the grid” said Phillips.
The 2014 Isle of Man TT kicks off Saturday May 31 and looks to be one of the most competitive years yet. For tickets and a full schedule of races, visit the Isle of Man TT website.
Source: IOMTT; Photo: CGPM