Hutchy is IOM starsky


Ian Hutchinson wheelies his way to an IOM victory. Photo:

The Isle of Man has been hosting the
Tourist Trophy (TT) races since 1907, making it easily the
longest-surviving and almost certainly most widely known motorcycle
competition in the world. Calling the event a "race" is
really committing semantic mayhem, as it’s more like what we’d call
timed qualifying in North America: the racers go off one at a time at
10-second intervals and race against the clock rather than their
rivals on the track.

Still, numerous signalling boards make
it possible for racers to know how they’re doing against their main
rivals, so don’t make the mistake of thinking there’s no real
competition going on; don’t ever try to convince me that people who
ride superbikes at speeds up to 198 mph over these bumpy country roads aren’t trying really hard.

This year, quiet Yorkshireman Ian
Hutchinson continued his early domination of the event by winning the
last two races of the week, completing a five-win sweep that’s never
been done before. Phil MacCallen, with four wins back in 1996, was
the last to get that close to such domination.


Michael Dunlop at Ballaugh Bridge.
Photo: Date unknown.

While Hutchinson had some luck, he was
still the fastest guy out there and you can’t take away his victories
by talking about the riders who were hurt, had mechanical issues, or
were penalized (Steve Plater, local favourite Conor Cummins,
15-time-winner John McGuinness, Guy Martin, and Bruce Anstey were all
in the "coulda-shoulda" catagory this year).

So was Michael
Dunlop, 22-year-old nephew of the immortal Joey Dunlop, who came
closest in the second 600 race, having a 1.5 second lead at Ramsey on
the last lap (with about a third of the lap left over the ultra-fast
mountain section), but Hutchinson pulled something out from deep
inside and made up enough time to take the victory away.

The result was all the more amazing as
he was sick as a dog with a desperately bad cold; he was coughing and
wheezing and could barely speak to be interviewed.

Tragically, the TT’s reputation for
killing its offspring continued this year. Paul Dobbs of New Zealand
and Martin Loicht of Austria, both married with two children, died in
separate incidents in the second Supersport race.

Godspeed, gentlemen.


  1. That was a wicked week for Hutchy. I had no clue he was riding with a bad cold. It was not appearant from the TV coverage I saw.

    It’s tragic that two riders lost their lives this year. It is indeed the toughest motorcycle race in the world as many would agree.

Join the conversation!