Ian Hutchinson will be oozing confidence heading into Friday’s flagship PokerStars Senior TT on the Isle of Man.
The ‘Bingley Bullet’ is back with a vengeance following his injury nightmare and rattled off a quick-fire treble on the infamous Mountain Course with three successive wins in the Supersport and Superstock races to prove beyond all doubt that the Yorkshireman is back where he belongs.
Famed for an historic five-timer in 2010, Hutchinson has the air of man who feels nothing is beyond his reach after producing a stunning renaissance on the island and will be setting off down the Glencrutchery Road on Friday believing he can land the most prized trophy in motorcycle road racing on the PBM Kawasaki.
He was denied a Superbike win last Sunday by outright lap record holder Bruce Anstey and the Kiwi will be equally determined to end race week on the top step of the rostrum on the Valvoline Padgetts Honda.
Anstey’s RST Superbike triumph was his first in the class at the TT and the New Zealander will be hungry for more.
It seems the high-flying duo are set to battle it out for the sport’s Holy Grail, but it would be foolish to write off Michael Dunlop, even though the Ulster rider is clearly not at his best following his Superbike tumble.
Dunlop retired from Wednesday’s Supersport race and has been concentrating on getting himself into the best shape possible under the circumstances for the Senior finale.
If his fitness holds up, the Buildbase BMW rider could force his way into contention and it would be no surprise to see him on the rostrum.
Honda’s John McGuinness never posed a threat in the RST Superbike race but he is still the fastest rider over six laps on the Honda Racing Fireblade and came out fighting two years ago in the Senior to thwart Dunlop’s quest for a five-timer.
The Morecambe Missile may have a say in matters, while Tyco BMW’s Guy Martin is another live contender for the top three in what is guaranteed to be a cracking finale to the 2015 festival.