Ian Hutchinson ended five years of pain with a fairytale victory in the first Monster Energy Supersport race of the 2015 Isle of Man TT. The Bingley Bullet won all five solo races in the 2010 TT before an accident at Silverstone left him with career-threatening injuries, but Hutchinson was back to his best on Monday, holding off the challenge of Bruce Anstey.
After a bright start by Gary Johnson, Hutchinson managed to edge his way into a 0.778s lead at the end of lap one but the lead would only grow from there as Johnson became embroiled in a battle with Anstey over second. The Kiwi rider looked to have the measure of Johnson by half distance but try as he might, he couldn’t get close enough to Hutchinson to create any pressure.
Instead, Hutchinson grew in stature and with the fastest lap of the race last time around, the 35 year old claimed his ninth TT victory and one he was keen to dedicate to his Team Traction Control outfit.
“I was always going to become a TT race winner again someday! The race went really well and the Team Traction Control Yamaha is just a dream to ride – I felt like I was out delivering pizzas or something I felt that comfortable in the race! Starting as number nine wasn’t ideal, I think some people didn’t think I would be capable of running at the front again, so I got dropped down the numbers this year but I caught Guy and then I got out behind him in the pit stop, but apart from that it was pretty good. It was so special to hear all the fans around the circuit – people have taken note of me and I am so grateful for everyone’s support and for being behind me.”
“The team gave me this opportunity a week before the TT and I hadn’t ridden it before I got here and we did three laps in practice and it has been an absolute dream to ride and thanks to the team for dropping everything to get me out here in this race. Keith Flint will be absolutely starting fires!”
Johnson maintained third ahead of Lee Johnston and Guy Martin with James Hillier seeing off John McGuinness for sixth. Conor Cummins was eighth in the end while Dan Kneen and Michael Rutter completed the top ten.