‘It’s been the strangest race

15th TT Bin­g­ley bul­let digs deep to se­cure 2010 win and first Su­per­bike vic­tory since

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - By Michael Guy SPORTS ED­I­TOR

Ian Hutchin­son made a dream start to TT week by tak­ing vic­tory in the open­ing Su­per­bike race on­board his Tyco BMW, his 15th TT win of his ca­reer and one that saw him over­take Mike Hail­wood in the all-time win­ners list.

In what was his first Su­per­bike win since his in­cred­i­ble ‘five-in-a-week’ fest of 2010, Hutchy se­cured vic­tory by 5.070s sec­onds, but it wasn’t easy with the 37-year-old be­ing pushed by Michael Dun­lop, Dean Harrison, James Hil­lier and Peter Hick­man.

Af­ter a week of tor­rid weather, Hutchy and his ri­vals were se­ri­ously down on prac­tice laps, mak­ing the open­ing race a dif­fi­cult one for pun­ters to pre­dict and for the rid­ers to pre­pare for. And while Hutchy had the lux­ury of com­pet­ing with the same bike and team as last year, he did have to get di­alled into new tyres hav­ing made the switch from Met­zeler to Dun­lop.

“We all strug­gled for laps this week,” ex­plained the Bin­g­ley man. “I just didn’t know what to think about the race be­cause on lap one I just wanted to pack it in be­cause I truly didn’t have the bike to win on at the start of the race. But I thought ‘it’s the TT, its six laps, just keep dig­ging in’. Dean (Harrison) was lead­ing from the start and set­ting a great pace and ob­vi­ously I had a bit of luck with a few peo­ple go­ing out in the race,” he said re­fer­ring to the early re­tire­ment from the lead of ri­val Michael Dun­lop.

De­spite win­ning both Su­pers­port races and the Su­per­stock in 2016, Hutchy was beaten by bit­ter ri­val Michael Dun­lop in both the Su­per­bike and the blue rib­bon Se­nior race last year. While most rid­ers would be ec­static with three TT wins in a week, Hutchy was not and put plans in place to win the pres­ti­gious big bike races.

“The big swap to Dun­lop worked straight away. Thank god!” he said.

“Two weeks be­fore the North West, the team built me a new bike, which is a Su­per­stock bike with a Su­per­bike en­gine. That was it, so 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.”

The other area that Hutchy ad­dressed was pit­stops. In 2016 he was left frus­trated with the speed with which his team were able to turn­around the bike dur­ing the two pit stops of the six-lap races where he lost time to the slick fac­tory Honda squad, but in 2017 th­ese prob­lems had been ad­dressed.

“We were prac­tis­ing through the week, as soon as it wasn’t rain­ing, we were on a drive­way prac­tis­ing them and more at nine this morn­ing.”

And while Hutchy’s name will for­ever sit in the his­tory books of win­ning the 2017 Su­per­bike TT, it was a close run af­fair af­ter hav­ing his lead slashed to 1.6 sec­onds on the fi­nal lap by the hard-charg­ing Peter Hick­man. But the now 15 time TT win­ner had the men­tal strength and ex­pe­ri­ence to dig deep.

“On the last lap there was a crash at Greeba Cas­tle and James Hil­lier and I caught a back­marker and he slowed up a lot, lot more than we would prob­a­bly would have. I just want to thank the mar­shals and the medics at the scene, to trust us to keep rac­ing past them. I think we lost about six or seven sec­onds with that in­ci­dent so I had to get a bit of a shift on which I was hop­ing I wouldn’t have to do. I got a re­ally good run over the Moun­tain and from the Bun­ga­low I had two back­mark­ers so I just did the safest job I could get­ting through as fast as I could.”

‘The team went with it and big thanks to them for trust­ing what I thought’

Hutchy hops off to tweak the sus­pen­sion while his well-prac­tised team do their job

1 st Ian Hutchin­son Fastest lap: 130.738 (lap 6)

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