Macau Grand Prix

Miracle Man Ian Hutchinson aiming to make a further mark in Macau Grand Prix history

The 14-time Isle of Man TT winner is hoping to be in position to better his sparkling record this weekend

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2016, 4:55pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 November, 2016, 9:44am

Ian Hutchinson believes he only has two stories to tell about his life so far. Thankfully they’re both ripping yarns.

“I can talk about my leg and I can talk about my racing,” the 37-year-old says, having famously recovered from a horrific crash in 2010 to climb once again to the pinnacle of his sport.

Hutchinson has this year been the subject of a documentary – Hutchy: Miracle Man – and just last month saw an autobiography using the same title hit the shelves.

That leg he’s often asked about is the left one, which went through 16 operations after that crash at Silverstone in 2010 and was again damaged in 2012.

And the racing career would be the one that has seen him go on to collect an incredible 14 Isle of Man TT victories so far, among many and varied global wins.

That crash, of course, figures prominently throughout both documentary and book and Hutchinson says the experience of going back over every moment of his life before and since has reminded him how lucky he has been.

“It’s been good to be able to talk about it all having come back and having been successful rather than only being able to talk about it bringing the end to my career,” said Hutchinson.

“The leg doesn’t work, but obviously I’ve still got something I can walk on. It’s there and I’ve just got to work with what I have. It’s actually a bit embarrassing being asked to do a book about yourself because you think ‘Who would want to read it?’

“But I’ve had a really good reception to it and when the documentary went out, they did a really good job and I’ve had so many messages since.”

Hutchinson is getting plenty of opportunity to continue the conversation about both topics.

The English rider is among the former winners of the Macau Motorcycling Grand Prix back in town to celebrate this weekend’s 50th anniversary of the event.

The 2013 winner took to the podium for a photo opportunity with former champions Mick Grant (1977, 1984), Michael Rutter (1998, 2000, 2002-05, 2011-12), John McGuinness (2001), Steve Platter (2006-07), Stuart Easton (2008-10, 2014), and last year’s winner Peter Hickman.

Surprisingly the great Phillip McCallen – a winner in 1996 – was a no-show, trapped on a slow ferry which no doubt had the Northern Irishman clawing at the armrests, giving his legend for going as fast as is humanly possible at all times.

After three third-place finishes at the event, Hutchinson beat Rutter was Gary Johnson to the title in 2013.

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 stretched the gap before the duo caught up with backmarkers on lap 12 and while Hutchinson made it through the crowd safely, Rutter was forced to slow nearly to a stop, and after another lap was run, the red flag came out.

“My win here in 2013, after pretty much three years out, was probably the most emotional win I’ve had,” said Hutchinson.

“Everywhere we end up racing we riders all get together and always the stories about racing in Macau come out, no matter what paddock we are in. It’s a special place to race.”

Hutchinson’s season so far has included eight international wins and he’ll be back out on the track this weekend, riding the Tyco BMW,  alongside fellow former champions Hickman, Rutter and Easton who are all riding the Bathams/SMT Racing BMWs, while McGuinness will be back out for Honda Racing.

“Everyone is competitive in so many different classes of racing now – so much can happen on race day,” says Hutchinson, when asked how he might fare.

“Any win here is a good win, but the 50th with all these past winners would be special.

“You can’t come here really expecting anything, you just have to take it as it comes on the day.

“But if I’m up there at the right stage in the race, I’ll be trying to win again. Don’t worry.”