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Ian Hutchinson frustrated by slow opening race
Eight-time Isle of Man Tourist Trophy winner Ian Hutchinson admitted he was frustrated not be in contention during the opening race of 2012 but looked to the bigger picture as he works his way back from serious injury.
The 32-year-old Bingley rider was back racing at the TT, fuelled by Monster Energy, for the first time since his clean sweep of 2010. But after breaking his leg twice in the intervening years, he is just glad to be back on a bike.
His time of 1hr 49min 41.52sec, good enough for eighth place in the curtain-raising Dainese Superbike race, was some way off his best as TT legend John McGuinness clocked up his 18th win over three minutes faster.
And while the Swan Yamaha rider always knew it would be difficult to compete with the cream of the crop this time around, it does not detract from his disappointment.
Hutchinson said: “The memories are not as happy as 2010, that’s for sure. It feels like a long time ago. I’m going to have to be patient and do what I can.
“I am glad I’m here, it’s just difficult trying to do it differently, I always come here to win it but we just need as much time as possible on the bikes.
“The injury goes out of my mind once I get out there as every minute on the bike counts at this stage. I’ve got one race under my belt and it’s a six-lapper as well, so it can only get easier from here.
“I’m making progress with the bikes. We are not there yet but you can’t make a bike work in one week.”
Meanwhile, fellow Bradford rider Conrad Harrison claimed the fourth TT podium of his career after finishing third with passenger Mike Aylott in this year’s opening Sure Sidecar race.
Harrison had earlier watched anxiously as 23-year-old son Dean rode to ninth in the Superbike race – his best finish at the TT – and admitted it was tough viewing.
He said: “It’s what the wife has had to put up with for 18 years. It’s a lot easier riding than watching but ninth place was a fantastic achievement for him.
“Personally I’m over the moon to be on the podium. I had to get my act together as I should have got stuck in from the word go.
“In the TT you have to get off fast and I didn’t, so it’s my fault. I’ve had a good run for the past few years but you can never count your chickens at the TT. If you let your guard slip, then you’ll find yourself at the side of the track.”
* The 2012 Isle of Man TT Races, fuelled by Monster Energy, will be shown every evening (usually at 9pm) on ITV4 until June 11. For more information on the event and for live Radio TT commentary and live timings, as well as the full ITV4 schedule, go to www.iomtt.com.