Macau win caps amazing comeback for Ian Hutchinson
TT rider was taking part in first race in 18 months after injury-plagued years
English rider Ian Hutchinson won the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix on Saturday, capping an amazing comeback from injury.
Hutchinson, who won all five individual categories at the Isle of Man TT in 2010, has hardly raced since an accident that year left him fighting to save his left leg - he has had 29 operations since.
After three third-place finishes at the event, Hutchinson was in tears at the end as his fellow riders queued up to congratulate him.
"It's one of the most special wins I've ever had with what's gone on over the last three years," he said. "Hopefully now we can put everything with what happened with my leg behind us and continue where we were three years ago."
Eight-time winner Michael Rutter had taken the lead in the early stages and looked to be heading for a record ninth crown before Hutchinson reeled him in and got in front on lap five. He gradually stretched the gap, before the pair caught up with backmarkers on lap 12: Hutchinson made it through the crowd safely, but Rutter was forced to slow nearly to a stop. Another lap was run before the red flag came out to stop the race, but in truth Hutchinson had won it there. Rutter was second and Gary Johnson third.
"I had about 10 plans, what to do in whatever situation but I didn't really have a plan for the one that did happen," added Hutchinson. "I knew once Michael got past [early leader] Gary I really needed to get past Gary too because if the gap appeared that would be it.
"I would have prefered to cross the chequered flag [rather than winning by being in the lead when the race was stopped], it would have been a bit more special, but we got the race win and I have to thank everyone in my team who has stood by me over the last few years."