The 2023 Isle of Man TT is fast approaching in May, 2023, and sadly, at least one regular racer won't be competing this year. During pre-season training, 16-time TT winner Ian Hutchinson suffered a stroke while cycling in Spain. As a result, his racing license has been revoked for 12 months following the incident, according to existing sporting regulations.
Hutchinson's team, TAS Racing, made the official withdrawal announcement on March 29, 2023. This TT was to have been Hutchinson's second with the well-established Northern Irish racing team, and although it was news that no one had hoped for, all parties are moving forward with alternative plans for the racing season.
“Ian’s day-to-day health is of paramount importance to all involved and while he is making a remarkable recovery, already given the all clear to drive his car – rules are rules and we must respect them. Ian is obviously bitterly disappointed after putting in the hard yards over the winter months, spinning many laps on a TAS Racing prepared Milwaukee BMW M 1000 RR Superstock specification machine in Spain,” reads the official team announcement.
Although Hutchinson won't be racing, that doesn't mean that he'll be skipping the event entirely. TAS Racing says that both team sponsor Milwaukee and Hutchy himself will be present on the island for the duration. The well- regarded racer will be making appearances and spending time with fans as he represents both TAS Racing and the Milwaukee brand.
Additionally, he'll make an appearance at the 2023 North West 200 in the lead up to the race, as part of Milwaukee BMW’s preparations for that important road racing event.
“First and foremost our concerns are with Ian and we look forward to supporting him on his road to making a full recovery. Clearly we are disappointed to miss our first IOMTT in 23 years - aside from the Covid years of course. Everything was in place for this year’s event together with Milwaukee and our other valued partners. We now look forward to finalizing our plans for the NW200 and another BSB season.” Milwaukee BMW team principal Philip Neill said in a statement.
Sources: TAS Racing, BBC