Belfast Telegraph

Red-hot Ian Hutchinson honoured to join great Hailwood on 14 Isle of Man TT triumphs

By Paul Lindsay

Bingley Bullet Ian Hutchinson joined the late, great Mike Hailwood on 14 career Isle of Man TT victories following his success in yesterday's Monster Energy Supersport race for Came Yamaha.

Hutchinson's 17-second win is his third at this year's TT Races and, after again getting one over on his main rival Michael Dunlop - who was second on the MD Racing Yamaha - he will now be gunning for a fourth in tomorrow's blue riband Senior TT for local team Tyco BMW.

Speaking after his victory, Hutchinson - who has battled back to the top of the sport following an horrific crash at Silverstone in 2010 - said: "It's astonishing that I'm now being mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Mike Hailwood. It's touching."

Hutchinson again dominated proceedings from the opening lap of four and built his seven-second lead at the end of the opening 38 miles of racing into an unassailable margin of 18 seconds going onto the fourth and final lap.

He didn't falter and crossed the line with a massive celebratory wheelie, much to the delight of his team owner Keith Flint of Prodigy rock band fame, who as a motorcycling aficionado was thrilled to see his small team take both TT Supersport wins with Hutchinson for the second year in succession.

Flint said: "You come to the TT as a sponsor dreaming of tasting victory, but you can never count on wins here as anything can happen. I'm always so nervous before the start I sound like a gibbering wreck, but it's so humbling to be a part of this.

"I couldn't do any of it without my superb team. I'm a very lucky man to have them and Ian on the bike."

Dunlop's team privately flew in another engine - reportedly the sixth for his hungry Supersport Yamaha - and despite an all night bike build, he once again couldn't quite manage to topple Hutchinson.

Speaking afterwards, he said: "I'm not one for making excuses but after flying an engine in on a private jet, my team worked all night so I could do this race."

Asked if he could have beaten Hutchinson on another day, he added: "There's no need for me to make the big talk as I know how quick I can be around here if everything is working as I like it.

"Records have been getting broken all week, but no one has broken my Supersport record from 2013.

"It's sad when it comes down to that. I was getting into bed at about 4.30am this morning, but it was our problem and we had to fix it."

Speaking of his rivals, the nephew of the late Joey - who recorded 26 TT wins - added: "Some boys like arriving in their caravans to go racing and some like working on their bikes. I like working on my bikes and that's the way it is.

"We had small problems and I know what the problems are. We just didn't have enough time on the wee 600, that's the long and short of it. It's now time to get back on the Superbike and push."

In-form Bradford racer Dean Harrison took third place, which was his third podium of TT Race week for Silicone Engineering.

Quattro Plant Kawasaki's James Hillier was fourth, just ahead of Bruce Anstey in fifth, with Fermanagh's Lee Johnston sixth on the East Coast Racing 675 Triumph.

Belfast Telegraph


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