1st – Ian Hutchinson
Average poll score out of ten: 8.5
PBM Kawasaki/Team Traction Control Yamaha
Isle of Man TT wins:
Ulster Grand Prix wins:
Macau Grand Prix:
Bingley Bullet Ian Hutchinson was back in top form as the Yorkshireman bagged a breath-taking Isle of Man TT hat-trick in 2015, marking an incredible renaissance five years on from the freak crash at Silverstone that almost ended his career.
The resolute Yorkshireman dominated both Supersport races to clinch a double on Keith Flint's Team Traction Control Yamaha R6 and outgunned Michael Dunlop to claim the Superstock honours on Paul Bird's Kawasaki, silencing those critics who felt his dream of returning to the top step at the TT was nothing more than a forlorn hope.
All that was missing from an outstanding performance at the TT was a Superbike victory, although Hutchinson did seal the runner-up spot behind Bruce Anstey in the opener before finishing on the podium again in the Senior in third behind John McGuinness and James Hillier.
The 36-year-old gave an early indication that he was nearing his best form at the North West 200 in May, where Hutchinson chased home Alastair Seeley in the Superbike race and claimed third in the Superstock event after a thrilling scrap with Seeley and eventual race winner Lee Johnston.
At the Ulster Grand Prix, Hutchy completed a hat-trick of international rostrums in the Superbike class at the 'big three' road races as he finished second to Bruce Anstey in the headline Superbike race. He also earned another podium in the Supersport category on the TTC Yamaha, taking third in race two behind Lee Johnston and Glenn Irwin.
One of the favourites for victory at the Macau Grand Prix – where Hutchinson tasted success for the first time in 2013 on the Milwaukee Yamaha – he finished a slightly disappointing sixth by his standards in his final ride on the PBM Kawasaki, although nothing could diminish his against-the-odds ascension to the pinnacle of the sport at the TT this year as Hutchinson reclaimed his seat at road racing's top table.
Following Paul Bird's decision to switch to Ducati in 2016, Hutchinson signed for Northern Ireland team Tyco BMW to ride the S1000RR in the Superbike and Superstock classes at the North West 200, TT and Ulster Grand Prix. He will also bid to retain his Supersport titles on the Mountain Course after re-joining Flint's British Supersport TTC Yamaha outfit.
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About the vote:
Thousands of votes were cast for the 2015 Crash.net
Road Racer of the Year poll, where viewers awarded a shortlist of this season's most impressive riders with a mark out of ten.