Heading into the 2015 Isle of Man TT, 35-year-old Ian Hutchinson had not won a TT since he swept all five solo classes in 2010.“Hutchy” surely would have won additional TTs, but he did some serious damage to his left lef following a crash during the 2010 Silverstone British Supersport race. He was run over by another rider, and sustained severe damage to his left tibia and fibula – injuries that prompted numerous surgeries and nearly ended his racing career.
But Hutchinson wasn’t about to give up. Following a season off, Hutchinson returned to the TT in 2012, which marked his determination to get back to full racing. Unfortunately, Hutchinson’s leg issues continued, and he underwent further surgery that sidelined him from both the 2013 and 2014 TTs.Hutchinson then penned a deal with Paul Bird Motorsports for 2015, piloting a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R in the superbike/superstock races. He showed promise throughout qualifying, and earned second Sunday behind Bruce Anstey in the opening solo race of 2015 IOM TT – the RST Superbike TT.He followed this up Monday with a win in the Supersport 1 race while competing aboard the Team Traction Control Yamaha YZF-R6; this was his first win since 2010, and his ninth TT victory.But Hutchinson wasn’t done; he carried this momentum into Tuesday’s RL360 Superstock TT, destroying Michael Dunlop’s record by 32 seconds!Joining Hutchinson on the RL360 Superstock podium was 11-time TT winner Michael Dunlop, who is the nephew of the man who holds the record for TT wins with 26 – Joey Dunlop – and East Coast Construction BMW’s Lee Johnston, who achieved his first TT podium.As for America’s Mark Miller, the Splitlath EBR 1190RX pilot finished 35th.The “Bingley Bullet” Hutchinson, who now claims 10 TT wins, took the lead on lap three of four. Though Dunlop, Johnson and Quattro Plant Kawasaki’s James Hillier were all riding inside the lap record, no one could catch Hutchinson.When the race began, Michael Dunlop, who switched from Yamaha to BMW S1000RR machinery during the middle of qualifying, took the early lead from Hillier, Hutchinson and Tyco BMW’s Guy Martin, who will pilot a Victory prototype in the Zero TT. Behind these four were Johnston and GB Moto Kawasaki’s Gary Johnson. Unfortunately, Johnson had electrical issues on his ZX-10R, and was forced to retire at Parliament Square on the second lap.Michael Dunlop continued to gain ground, but behind Hutchinson was already into second place by the end of the opening lap. Martin was also into third, and all three were averaging over 130mph.By the second half of lap two on the 37.73-mile Mountain Course, Hutchinson was catching up to the MD Racing BMW S1000RR pilot Michael Dunlop. At Ramsey, the gap shrunk to 0.8 of a second, but due to an optimal pit stop, Dunlop’s lead grew to nearly two seconds ahead of Hutchinson. Behind, the top six were filled by Johnston, Hillier and Briggs Equipment UK BMW’s Peter Hickman. As for Martin, he dropped to eighth after his S1000RR wouldn’t start.Hutchinson’s tire change greatly affected his performance, though, and by Glen Helen he had the lead over Dunlop by 2.7 seconds. This lead improved to nearly 10 seconds by lap’s end.As Dunlop remained in second, Hillier moved into third ahead of Johnston, Hickman and Smiths Racing BMW’s David Johnson.Hutchinson continued to stretch his lead, and eventually took the checkered flag by 17.2 seconds ahead of Michael Dunlop for his 10th TT victory. Johnston was able to hold off Hillier by a mere 0.270 of a second for the final podium position.Fifth went to Hickman, who was followed by BMW pilots Johnson and Martin. Rounding out the top 10 were three Honda CBR1000RR superbike pilots – John McGuinness, RST Superbike winner Bruce Anstey and Conor Cummins.Photos by Wayne Freestone
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.