Ian Hutchinson's treble top leaves Keith Flint lost for words
Hat-trick hero Ian Hutchinson left TTC Yamaha team owner Keith Flint stuck for words after giving the Prodigy frontman his second win of TT2015.
The Bingley Bullet won yesterday's Monster Energy Supersport Race 2 by some eight seconds after clinching victory in Supersport Race 1 and the Superstock earlier this week.
Bruce Anstey came home in second place on the Padgetts' Honda, as he did in Monday's opening Supersport race, with fans' favourite Guy Martin finally getting back on a TT podium - the 16th of his career - in third place on the Smiths' 675cc Triumph.
Flint, who was on tour with his rock band in Germany, missed Hutchinson's Supersport victory on Monday but had no intention of missing this one, with his team making only their second appearance on the Isle of Man.
"Look at this, Hector is shaking my hand," Flint said of legendary TAS Racing team owner Hector Neill. "That was the longest 17 minutes of my life, but hats off to Ian as we all know what he came through after his injuries.
"His determination and true grit is what makes him so special and I'm so proud of him and the boys in the team."
Hutchy's amazing hat-trick, just five years after fearing he would have to undergo a leg amputation following an horrific crash, now puts him level with Michael Dunlop, Phillip McCallen and Steve Hislop on 11 TT wins, and with the way he's riding, there's a possibility he could make it a TT2015 four-timer in tomorrow's blue riband Senior six-lapper.
Recounting the victory, the softly spoken 35-year-old, who claimed a five-timer at the 2010 TT and is now the most successful 600cc competitor in TT history, said: "There's not much to say really. I kept myself in contention at the start and then built.
"I can't remember that much about the race. I didn't want to relax, as when you do that you lose too much time, so I kept concentrating. I'm delighted for Keith (Flint) as he's a massive supporter of the TT. He just loves it."
Hutchinson has now recorded 18 podiums during his TT career, and his win rate is nothing short of prolific.
Martin's tally of 16 podiums, however, has yet to afford him the pleasure of climbing onto a top step. And the Lincolnshire truck mechanic and popular TV presenter made a belated apology before complimenting Hutchinson.
"I have to apologise, as I lost my rag when I broke down in the Superbike race earlier this week, but today she's just a treat," he said of his 675 Smiths' Triumph after taking third place some 17 seconds down on Anstey.
"The bike is better than third place and no one messes about in the Smiths' team," he added, before giving his favourite Manx event a plug. And it's not the TT!
"Hutchy is riding really well and I had to wave my arms at Gary (Johnson) to leave me alone when I passed him and leave me to it. But this is just a warm-up for the Southern 100 for me."
Hutchinson grabbed the race by the scruff of the neck early on lap one from Anstey, and the order never changed throughout, with Martin holding off the challenge of James Hillier for third.
Dean Harrison's luckless TT on the Mar-Train Racing bikes continued with yet another mechanical failure, leaving the Bradford man to park up his Yamaha R6 at Ballaugh on the opening lap of the race.
A battered and bruised Michael Dunlop also retired his Hunts Honda on lap one, but the Ballymoney man's departure was in the pit lane, no doubt with the all-important Senior TT playing a prominent role in his decision.
Fermanagh's Lee Johnston couldn't quite make it three consecutive TT podiums, eventually taking sixth place on his ECR/Burdens Triumph behind Yamaha mounted Gary Johnson.
The Honda trio of Conor Cummins, John McGuinness and Dan Kneen rounded out the top 10 placings with Ballyclare's Jamie Hamilton finishing 14th on the Cookstown B.E Racing Honda.
Wilson Craig Honda rider Derek McGee was the top newcomer in 19th.
Hutchinson also recorded the fastest lap of the race with his 127.751mph effort on lap two.