Award is a huge honour for me, says Ian Hutchinson
Eleven-time TT winner Ian Hutchinson was in London yesterday to receive the Royal Automobile Club's coveted Torrens Award at the Pall Mall clubhouse for his determination and courage in overcoming adversity to win three TTs last year.
Hutchinson bounced back from the most horrific of leg injuries sustained during a British Supersport race at Silverstone in 2010 - just months after becoming the first and only rider in the history of the Isle of Man TT to win all five solo races in one week - to return to the top of the TT podium in 2015 having won both Supersport races and the Superstock event.
And all this after the early threat of amputation and some 30 operations that threatened his career with complication after complication.
The 36-year-old from West Yorkshire never gave up and his goal was always to win again at the TT - his three triumphs last year simply awe-inspiring.
After receiving the trophy, Hutchinson said: "I am very proud to win the Torrens Trophy and be recognised by the Royal Automobile Club.
"It was a fantastic year for me and I would like to extend a huge thanks to the team at Paul Bird Motorsport and Team Traction Control and to my family for all the support through my days in hospital and recovery."
The Torrens Trophy was first awarded in 1978 in memory of Arthur Bourne, a motorcycle journalist and Vice-Chairman of the RAC who wrote a column under the name Torrens.
Past winners of the award include Shayne Byrne (2014) for becoming the first man to win four British Superbike championships, Tom Sykes (2013) for being crowned the 15th WSB champion, James Toseland (2008) for his immense contribution to motorcycle racing and Dave Taylor (1978) for his vast contribution to motorcycle road safety.
The award was decided by a five-person nomination committee, which included respected motorcycle journalist Mat Oxley and former racer and commentator Steve Parrish.
Later this month, Hutchinson will fly into Belfast for the Cornmarket Insurance Motorcycle Awards to be held in the Ramada Plaza Hotel, Shaw's Bridge on January 29, where he will be a front-runner for the IFS Global Logistics Road Racer of the Year Award category.
The other nominees for the award are Lee Johnston, Alastair Seeley, Peter Hickman, Bruce Anstey and John McGuinness.
Hutchinson added yesterday: "I'm really looking forward to returning to the Cornmarket Awards.
"It is motorcycle racing's night of the year and I hope to see many people there."
Hutchinson, meanwhile, has signed up to compete for the Moneymore-based Tyco BMW team in Superbike and Superstock in 2016 while re-uniting with the Keith Flint Traction Control Team for the Supersport classes at the North West 200, the Isle of Man TT and the Ulster Grand Prix.