Ian Hutchinson Interview

Five TT wins in a week. Hutchy's on a mission

On near-death experiences

I’ve never had any real ‘moments’ in the Isle of Man before. You hear people say ‘oooo I had this big moment at such and such a section’ but I’d been lucky not to have any.

Until this year’s TT, that is.

I’d had no practice on the ‘stocker so I went out on it for the final session on Friday night just for myself to know everything was OK with it. I went out to do two laps. Going good on the first lap and got settled in for my final lap, happy that everything was OK with the bike.  I lost the front at the last apex  of the Verandah like I’d just hit a pool of oil. It just folded the front. Boom. Thankfully it caught grip again and I stayed on because it’s fast there – not a place I’d like to crash. (Ed- Connor Cummins had his massive crash here just a few yards earlier) I was unsure what had happened, I wasn’t doing anything different. It kind of shook me so I scrapped the lap and cruised back at, maybe 60%. As I was turning into the kink before Keppel Gate it did it again and I was just cruising. I knew it had to be something with the bike. I went back to the pits so slowly I could probably have pushed it faster. Sure enough, the front tyre was flat. It was a bit of a scare and a bit of a shame because that was the last lap before Saturdays race and it really unsettled me. Not good thing to go to bed on when you’ve got a big race the next day.

I got my head round it, though

On taking five wins in a week

It was nice, yeah, but nothing ever really sinks in properly, does it?. I went to the TT to win races, nothing changes when you’ve won one - you’re onto the next thing. When you’re not going good no one wants to know you. When you’re doing good everyone wants to congratulate you. I let it wash over me either way.

I don’t just give up after one race, I’m planning to win the next one and the next one…

[#1.2]On that yellow flag incident at Ballagarey

(Ed – Hutchinson had been accused of not backing off through a section where Paul Dobbs’ fatal accident had occurred)

A yellow flag job is a difficult situation. There were yellow flags out all over the place this year. It usually means stuff in the road but there were loads out for all sorts of stuff like spectators sitting in the wrong place and stuff . There were waved yellows at Ginger Hall for a photographer who’s stood in the wrong place, you roll off (because it’s my neck at the end of the day) and think, what was that for?

The Glen Vine thing got a bit distorted. From number 50 back they’re approaching Glen Vine nothing like as fast as we are in the lower numbers. Say bike number 89 (one of the last men on the course) slows down from his (slower) speed and then me and John approach Glen Vine at half speed but it looks a fuck’s sight faster than number eighty something. It can distort people’s perception a bit I think. How can you judge 30mph when you’ve entered that section at 180mph? We both lamped on the brakes, ran through the corner and got back on the gas. It took me until Greeba Castle before I caught John again. There was nothing there and then the next lap the yellow was out again. Nick Jefferies said the same thing used to happen back in his day. Maybe a danger zone should give each rider five minutes for that sector to nobody can gain or lose? I don’t know what the solution is. We are trying to win a race but why would we take a risk going through a yellow flag? The course is dangerous enough as it is without taking extra risks. Keith Amor did get a fine for not slowing enough at that incident because he’d had a warning for it earlier.

On Superstock

They’ve done a good job of pulling in outside sponsors for the TT and the event hasn’t lost its place. The event seems to be in good health. It’s a load of shite watching a tiny dot for twenty laps somewhere like Donington or Silverstone compared to what you experience as a spectator on a roads circuit. There’s far more relevance to the road rider – especially with classes like Superstock. There used to be a lot of cheating when the big guys got involved but now with private teams there’s very little of that and the bikes are really evenly matched. In 2009 my Superstock Fireblade didn’t even have a power commander on it - just a pipe.

I’m a firm believer that you should have a brand new bike for the TT but it did so little on my ‘stock Blade in 2009 there was no point getting a new bike. For 2010 we fitted a power commander but it wouldn’t do two laps with it fitted. But I knew it inside out and did 130.7 on the last lap on a fucked tyre. McGuinness said that was the most overlooked achievement of the whole TT. He did 128 (on an identical bike) so he was qualified to comment, I guess. It feels special to do that. That lap speed is quite an accolade for a standard bike with a pipe and a shocker…

On the Ulster Grand Prix

The Ulster is the best of the lot. The speeds are so massive a lap just goes in a breath. I spectated there for the first time in 2002. A friend of ours got married and had his stag do over there because we were all mates of DJ, so we went to watch him race.

On the spoils of victory

I won £80,000 prize money at this year’s TT. It’s no secret; you can work it all out yourself from the stuff printed in the programme. I paid a bit off my mortgage and I’m  doing a bit to my house. Must be getting sensible at 31.

I bought a Hummer in 2007 after a good TT. My first decent car was a Mitsubishi Evo 8 in 2006 after the McAdoo season. I bought a big American motorhome the year I bought the Hummer. I was living at home paying £20 a week board and lodgings! I actually got a new car this week. Up until now I’ve been tooling about in an 02 plate Vauxhall Vivaro van so my new Range Rover Sport is a bit of a luxury.

On beating existing records…

Records don’t really matter to me. I just set out goals to go and win races. I believe on the right day on the right bike I can be up there – short or long circuit. I enjoy the roads and when I stop enjoying it I’ll stop going. I don’t want to be still doing it in my late forties but I do really enjoy it.

I won £80,000 prize money at this year’s TT