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Improving Hutchinson praises pit crew after finishing sixth
Bingley’s Ian Hutchinson paid tribute to his team after his remarkable recovery from injury continued with his best finish of this year’s Isle of Man Tourist Trophy today.
Hutchinson ended up sixth in the second Monster Energy Supersport race, a far cry from his 2010 campaign where he became the first man in history to claim all five solo TT wins in the same year.
But when you consider the injury hell that the 32-year-old has been through in the past two years, it is remarkable that he is even back racing competitively on the 37.73-mile Mountain Course.
Two separate leg breaks mean that the Bingley Bullet was still very much on the mend coming into this year’s TT but that hasn’t stopped him claiming solid finishes in the first four races - all in or around the top ten.
And with Friday’s blue-riband event still to come - the Pokerstars Senior TT - Hutchinson has laid the praise at the door of his Swan Yamaha crew, most of whom are taking part in their first TT.
“The team have been very patient, they’ve had to put up with me whingeing all week, and to their credit they have never blamed my leg,” said Hutchinson.
“They could have easily heard me complaining about our positions and said ‘maybe we’re not going fast because of your leg’ but that hasn’t happened.
“They’ve got great belief in me and my riding ability and we have made good progress this year that we will look to continue next.
“We will have a good go in the Senior on Friday as well, and we’ll be ready to go close to the top step next year - there’s no doubt about that.
“Considering this is the first time on the Isle for most of the team on bikes that have never done the course it has been pretty good.
“The bikes are making improvements all the time and the work we have done has been brilliant. The three bikes are not that far away at all from the top guys.”
And Hutchinson admits that after two years on the treatment table, rather than riding motorbikes, this year’s TT is passing him by in something of a flash.
“I feel pretty good physically - we could do with three weeks on the Isle this year to prepare ourselves for the future,” he added.
Meanwhile Conrad Harrison – father of Dean, who continued his impressive week by ending the Monster Energy Supersport race in 13th – saw his impressive run of four consecutive Sure Sidecar TT podium finishes come to an agonising end.
The 48-year-old’s run stretched back to 2010 and included a third-place finish earlier this campaign. However his luck ran out today.
Having been in and around the podium throughout the race, Harrison was forced to retire less than five miles from the end to see his week end on a low point.
* The 2012 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy will be shown every evening, usually at 9pm, on ITV4 from May 28 to 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