Belfast Telegraph

Brave Hutchinson set for a hero’s welcome

By ROY HARRIS

Macau Grand Prix winner Ian Hutchinson and new British Supersport Champion Stuart Easton will be among the guests at the Adelaide Irish Motorcyclist of the Year awards in the Ramada Plaza Hotel, Belfast on January 17.

Hutchinson’s Macau victory came after three years blighted by injury during which he underwent 29 operations on a badly broken left leg sustained during a British Supersport race at Silverstone in 2010, so serious doctors initially recommended amputation.

During the Adelaide Awards evening of 2011, a tearful Hutchy hobbled onto the stage to receive his International Road Racer of the Year trophy, in recognition of his memorable and historic clean sweep of all five solo races at the 2010 TT, unsure of his future, but equally determined that he could get back to winning ways again on board the Milwaukee Yamaha.

Many doubted whether the ‘Bingley Bullet’ would ever return but through fierce determination, overcoming the appalling injury, the fairytale victory in the Far East in November again saw the tears flow and the doubters proved wrong – Hutchy had defeated the odds and the comeback to end all comebacks in the harsh world of motorcycle road racing was complete.

For sure he will receive a tremendous ovation on January 17.

Easton, who won the British Supersport championship for the Saintfield-based Tim and Sonya Martin Mar-Train Yamaha Team after a scintillating season long battle with Alastair Seeley, is another who has bounced back from a horrific accident during practice for the 2011 North West 200 that resulted in a lengthy stay in the Royal Victoria Hospital and a long recuperation period.

Voting for this year’s Adelaide Irish Motorcyclist of the Year in association with the Enkalon Club is well underway and already organisers are saying this is the biggest public vote in the history of the event – and it is very close.

Without divulging too much at this stage, as voting does not close until January 5, it is fair to say that from the 22 nominees Michael Dunlop, Eugene Laverty, Alastair Seeley, Marty Nutt, Nico Mawhinney and Jamie Hamilton are all polling well.

Your vote could well be crucial and to make your choice, visit the voting link at www.adelaidemotorcycleawards.com

The Black Tie Gala evening, one of the most prestigious on the motorcycle calendar, is virtually sold out with only a few tickets remaining, which can be obtained by telephoning 07584058810 or by e-mailing tickets@adelaidemotorcycleawards.com

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