Ian Hutchinson reflects on ‘unbelievable’ turnaround in fortunes

Ian Hutchinson pictured with Eddie Johnston, Dundrod & District Motorcycle Club, Andy Higgins, event compere, and Ken Stewart, Dundrod & District Motorcycle Club at the exclusive Northern Ireland launch of his new book, 'Miracle Man', in Belfast.
Ian Hutchinson pictured with Eddie Johnston, Dundrod & District Motorcycle Club, Andy Higgins, event compere, and Ken Stewart, Dundrod & District Motorcycle Club at the exclusive Northern Ireland launch of his new book, 'Miracle Man', in Belfast.

Bingley Bullet Ian Hutchinson has told of his pride at becoming the fastest road racer in the world at a sensational MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix in August.

Hutchinson set the first ever 134mph lap in the second Superbike race at Dundrod to cap a dazzling four-timer at the last of the ‘big three’ road races of 2016.

It was the perfect way to round off a terrific season, with Hutchinson also tasting success at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT, where he clinched a repeat of his 2015 treble in the Superstock and Supersport classes on the legendary Mountain Course.

The Yorkshire rider, who has signed for Ulster’s Tyco BMW outfit for a second season and will again ride a Yamaha R6 in the Supersport class with backing from Keith Flint in the McAMS Racing team, said his big aim for 2017 is to win the Superbike and Senior races at the TT.

Hutchinson was in Belfast at the weekend for the first Northern Ireland book signing of his new book, Miracle Man, which was hosted by the Ulster Grand Prix at Charles Hurst BMW Motorrad on Saturday.

“The Ulster was just unreal,” Hutchy said.

“The weather wasn’t good during the week. I never even did a lap on Wednesday and then I did enough just to get myself on the grid on Thursday.

“Going on to win four races on Saturday was just an amazing end to the year.

“Sometimes it feels a bit strange from where I was for such a long time.

“I remember coming to watch at the Ulster in 2012 or 2013, I had a frame round my leg, I was on crutches and you feel like no-one cares what you’ve done in the past or who you are or anything when you’re injured,” Hutchinson added.

“You’re just out, just an old face, so to come back and get the wins and do the fastest lap in the world has been unbelievable.”

This year’s Ulster Grand Prix was a memorable occasion that showcased road racing at it’s exhilarating best and Hutchy admits the Dundrod meeting holds a special place in his heart.

“Dundrod is a circuit that I love and strangely on race day you always think it’s going to be hard today, but I’ve always had a lot of success round the place and it’s probably my favourite place to race when the weather’s good and my worst when it’s wet,” he said.

“It’s the constant high speed that makes it different from everywhere else, the circuit is like a short circuit I suppose.

“The tarmac is smooth all the way around and you’re in fifth gear rather than second and third gear like you are in BSB, so it’s just the thrill of the speed round the place that makes it special.”

Hutchinson, whose outright lap record at Dundrod stands at 134.08mph, says his return to the top step after a career-threatening leg injury and more than 30 gruelling operations was the catalyst for his new book.

“In the end it was getting back to success that made me do the book,” he said,

“I’d been asked for a couple of years and I didn’t really feel like I should do a book when I wasn’t successful at the time so to come back and win like I have…it’s been incredible and I’m happy with the book and the response I’ve been getting to it

“It’s been nice to be able to put the book out. I don’t come from a family background of racing so the story goes through how I got into it and some of my success before my leg injury.

“How do I top this year? Well obviously I can still do a little bit better, the big aim is to get some superbike wins at the TT.

“I’m staying with the team for a second year, both my Yamaha 600 team and the Tyco BMW team. It’s only the second time ever that I’ve been with a team for two years running and last time I did that it worked out pretty well, so I’m hoping we can go into next year and have a really good go at winning a lot more races.”

Hutchinson will also compete in the British Superstock 1000 Championship next year after finishing as the runner-up this season.

His autobiography, ‘Hutchy – Miracle Man’ is on sale now at all good book shops.