TT rules could be relaxed for Hutchy

20th February 2012
Ian Hutchinson could be granted special dispensation to compete at the Isle of Man TT races in June if he recovers sufficiently in the wake of his latest injury crisis.

Hutchinson re-broke his left leg during a freak incident during rehearsals for a mini stunt show on an off-road bike at the ExCel motorcycle show in London at the beginning of this month.

His Swan Yamaha team boss Shaun Muir said the 32-year-old faced a recovery period of three months which would take the Isle of Man TT star up to the beginning of May, two weeks before practice is scheduled to get under way for the Relentless International North West 200.

Undeterred, Hutchinson remains committed to competing at both the NW200 and TT, but his lack of track time in the past year has raised a question mark over his eligibility for the international meetings.

At the TT for example, a Mountain Course Licence is issued dependant on the competitor having ‘competed satisfactorily in at least six road race meetings in the 12 months expiring March 31’.

Hutchinson has only raced at one event since his original crash at Silverstone in September 2010, making a successful racing return at the Macau Grand Prix in November, where incredibly he finished on the rostrum in third position.

However, Paul Phillips, Isle of Man TT and Motorsport Development Manager, has conceded that Hutchinson could be granted the opportunity to race at the world famous road race in June even though he will almost certainly fail to meet the issuing criteria.

Phillips, who admitted that Hutchinson’s long-awaited comeback at the TT remains far from certain, said dispensation had been granted by the organising ACU Road Race Committee in the past.

“There is no exception being made because he is an eight-time winner or because he rides for a factory team,” said Phillips in a statement on the official TT forum.

“If rider ‘x’ starting at number 70 had been in a similar position, he should receive the same dispensation, and if he wasn’t, I would want to know why. I know of several riders who have been given dispensation in the past for similar reasons as Ian has.

“If Ian isn’t physically and medically fit, he will not race. The programme agreed with the ACU has both medical targets and competitive racing targets for him to meet before he is allowed to race.

“If he doesn’t meet them and there is a view that his entry presents a high level of risk, he will not be allowed to start.

“His team and he himself understand that,” Phillips added.

“There is no great conspiracy at play here; just some good old-fashioned common sense.

“Let’s hope Ian Hutchinson is fit to take his place at TT 2011. It is by no means a certainty, but the event will be poorer without him and the Swan Yamaha team.”

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