The agony of waiting, and healing, is something fellow competitor and 16-time TT winner Ian Hutchinson knows all too well. Despite his incredible success on the Mountain Course having propelled him to fourth in the all time TT winners list, as well as achieving the honour of being the only rider to ever win five TT races in a single week, Hutchinson has also endured more than his fair share of pain and injury.
The 38 year old has toughed through repeated injury and broken bones with unparalleled resolve, and in the last seven years has seen no less four fixator cages on his left leg; enduring the same process McGuinness has recently experienced. Hutchy’s story is a remarkable one, and is matched only by his determination to return to successful racing on the Isle of Man.
“Success breeds success, and once you’ve had it it’s the only reason you keep on competing. The same holds true for my injuries in a way.” Hutchy told us. “The only reason to come back to racing after the accidents is to win more. It’s no different this time to 2010, I don’t really look at the injury as a hindrance, it just something else I have to work around, and make it [success] happen.”
Hutchinson also returns to the Isle of Man with fresh backing in the paddock. Having switched from the BMW Tyco outfit with which he has raced for since 2016, he will now throw his leg over a factory run Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.
“I’m really looking forward to getting started with Honda Racing; it’s a new challenge and a fresh start for me,” continued Hutchy. “I suppose I have quite a bit of history with Honda, ten years ago I rode with this official team and in 2009/2010 I rode with Padgetts Honda, where I scored five-TT wins in a week, so I know the Fireblade pretty well. The Honda team has a lot of experience at the TT and its history speaks for itself with the wins and successes over the years.”
Despite only just recovering from his injuries in time, Hutchy will have to bring his A-Game though. Road racing royalty Michael Dunlop will undoubtedly be on serious form and is looking to add to his ever growing tally of 15 wins and 19 podiums.
The northern Irishman is racing in four of the five classes this year and returns to the Isle of Man on the back of having swept to victory in the 2017 Senior TT. As a man of few words, the current outright lap record holder of the Mountain Course (133.962mph), and someone who prefers to let his riding do the talking, Dunlop simply said this of his TT 2018 ambitions: “I'm not at the TT to get second place, that's the first loser, and I'm determined to do my job and win for myself at the Tyco Team.”
It’s all or nothing, and business as usual at the TT this year. Check out https://www.iomtt.com/ to find out more.