Ian Hutchinson smashed records for the most wins at a single Isle of Man TT in 2010. Just months later he smashed his leg. Emma Spencer reports.
“You don’t lie sprawled helplessly in the middle of the track with thirty motorcycles hurtling towards you in a cloud of spray and expect to get away with it. And I didn’t.”
And he really didn’t get away with it, but it was possibly this moment in 2010 which re-defined the rest of motorcycle racer Ian Hutchinson’s career and life.
That year Hutchinson had set the record for the most wins at the Isle of Man TT races with five victories. He had won at three outings at the Ulster Grand Prix in Ireland and the previous week, claimed victory in the Gold Cup at Scarborough – England’s only road racing circuit.
He says himself “life could not have been better” and then on the opening lap of a race at what is considered ‘safer’ short circuit racing at Silverstone, it changed in an instant.
A group of riders, including Bingley-born Hutchinson, crashed out.
Already injured he was then hit by two other bikes.
He recalls: “The pain was excruciating. I looked down and it was awful.
“The lower part of my leg seemed to be hanging off, the bone had burst out of the back of my leathers.”
The injuries he sustained were horrific with several breaks in his left leg. It is one of the worst moments for any racer, for this is not just a Sunday afternoon hobby – this is an all-consuming way of life.
But Hutchinson, against all the odds, returned to winning ways after a road to recovery that took the best part of three years, and in a feat just as remarkable as that 2010 clean up at the world’s most famous road race on the Isle of Man, Hutchinson recorded three victories at both the 2015 and 2016 TTs. It is this that led to the release of his autobiography, “Hutchy, The Miracle Man”.
He had been asked numerous times before to put pen to paper and refused, but this time he felt compelled to inspire other people fighting back from injury.
Hutchinson, 37, now living in Guiseley, told The Yorkshire Post: “The publishers had been asking me for a couple of years but there was not really any story to tell, but when I got my success again a lot of people, through social media, contacted me to give them inspiration to get back from injury, and that is why I did the book.
“Going back through everything, recalling it, is something I talk about a lot. I go to shows and I am always asked different questions so it is trying to find that balance – you don’t want to drag it out.”
Released towards the end of last year, it tells how racing took over Hutchinson’s life, so much so that he was willing to risk it to continue to race.
And even with that demon sat on his shoulder, if he is not winning – he is not happy.
He added: “People just watch it on television and think it is easy and that you are just sat on a motorbike.
“It is your whole life and everything revolves around that next meeting. I have been doing it that long there is no enjoyment in anything less than winning; if not – it is not enjoyable.”
This coming racing season will see Hutchinson re-focus on the short circuits, such as Brands Hatch and Cadwell Park. He will compete in the British Superstock championship on a BMW S1000RR and in the Supersport rounds on a Yamaha with the Traction Control team fronted by Prodigy star Keith Flint.
For the road racing rounds, set to be the TT in the Isle of Man, and North West and Ulster in Ireland, he is back on board the Tyco BMW.
Hutchinson added: “I want to have a really good year on the short circuits and I want to win the Superstock championship.
“The roads kind of take care of themselves, you can’t force it to happen.”
“Hutchy Miracle Man” The Autobiography is published by John Blake Publishing priced at £18.99.