MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
Hutchy’s journey to hell and back
Why Ian Hutchinson beat Britain’s latest world champions to win Britain’s biggest biking gong
Each year dozens of motorcyclists win world championships of every shape and form but very few fight back from injuries that seemed destined to leave them ex-racer amputees. Mick Doohan was one, Ian Hutchinson is another.
Hutchy’s tale is an inspiring story of the wonders and the possibilities of the human spirit. Just a couple of months after becoming the first man in history to win five Isle of Man TTs in one week, Hutchy crashed out of a Silverstone BSB Supersport race and was hit by another bike. The accident shattered his lower leg. Surgeons gave the limb up for lost and told him the only way forward was to amputate from below the knee.
Hutchinson disagreed, for one main reason: not so much because he wanted to continue walking with his own two legs but because he couldn’t bear the thought of never racing a motorcycle again. That gives you some idea of the compulsive thrill of bike racing, especially around the Isle of Man Mountain course, where Hutchy returned to his winning ways last June, scoring a hat-trick of victories.
During the intervening five years the Yorkshireman became something of a guinea pig for his team of surgeons, who carried out more than thirty operations on the supposedly doomed limb, including back-to-back twelve-hour and sixteen-hour epics from which he awoke in a darkened intensive-care unit, convinced he was on his way to meet his maker.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.