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Classic motorsport moment: Hutchy's five in a week, TT 2010
Ian Hutchinson made still unsurpassed Isle of Man TT history with 2010's clean sweep
Ask the layman to name an Isle of Man TT hero and you’ll likely hear one of two names: Dunlop or McGuinness. But while Joey Dunlop, John McGuinness and Michael Dunlop hold places one, two and three in the all-time winners list of perhaps the world’s scariest motor race, none have won all five races in a TT week.
That achievement belongs solely to Ian Hutchinson and one famous week in 2010. Though perhaps not as famous as it ought to be. If you’ve seen the TT movie, Closer to the Edge, it’s a sub-plot playing second fiddle to ‘the Guy Martin story’. While cameras follow Martin’s bedraggled hair and befuddled timekeeping around the paddock, Hutchy is making TT history almost in the background. Guy’s never won a TT. Ian’s won 16.
And he might have had a heck of a lot more trophies – and surpassed McGuinness and at least one Dunlop on that winners list – if it weren’t for an accident mere months after ripping up TT record books that nearly cost him a leg. It happened at Silverstone on the supposed safety of a circuit rather than out in the wild west of road racing. He made a miraculous recovery but a string of injuries has followed and while he’s accrued more TT wins, Hutchy’s never been back to his scintillating five-in-a-week best.
“It’d be easier to pack in!” he told us back in 2018 while scaring us witless driving a Civic Type R around Snaefell Mountain at the top of sixth gear, his leg fresh out of a cage. “But if you pack in, then that’s it; you’re never riding round the Isle of Man like that ever again.
“The build-up here is a bit like going on a rollercoaster; you’re sat in the chair, strapped in, and you’ve no idea why you’re doing it again. But as soon you get going, it’s a different story.
“When you’re down in the paddock and the race is about to start, you think there’s got to be easier ways to earn a living. You’re thinking of all the things that can go wrong. Then as soon as you set off down Bray Hill, you enjoy riding the bike and it all goes out the window. You’re no longer nervous, because you’re in control. You know what you’re doing, barring anything that’s out of your hands. Which can happen anywhere in life, can’t it?”
It’s certainly happened to Hutchy…