Anstey shows his class in race marred by tragedy
Kiwi Bruce Anstey took his eighth career TT victory in yesterday’s re-started Supersport Race one, which had more re-shuffles than a world cup poker tournament.
Falkirk rider Keith Amor brought his privately entered KBMG Honda home in second place, eight seconds down on Anstey, with Guy Martin posting his debut international road racing podium for Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing in third, eight seconds down on Amor.
Wilson Craig Honda’s Cameron Donald was the original race leader, opening up a 20 second advantage as he approached the end of lap two; aided by the retirement of his main rival, Michael Dunlop.
Keith Amor and Gary Johnson were holding down the minor podium positions on lap two when the race was red flagged due to an incident at Gorse Lea, just seven miles into the lap.
Sadly it was later announced that 34-year-old Irishman Derek Brien, a former Manx Grand Prix winner, had lost his life in the incident.
The race was re-started at 1pm over a reduced distance of three laps, allowing Michael Dunlop and Guy Martin, who had ‘over-balanced’ at Creg-ny-Baa in the opening encounter, to have second bite at the cherry.
While Donald could have been forgiven for feeling a bit aggrieved at his main rivals being allowed to re-start, he didn’t show it, immediately taking the lead at the opening checkpoint at Glen Helen.
Dunlop was within a second of the Aussie, with Gary Johnson again disputing the final podium position with Guy Martin and Keith Amor. But the high drama was about to begin.
With one fuel stop required to complete three laps around the 37.73-mile circuit on Supersport machinery, most riders came in at the end of the opening lap, preferring to chase the victory with a flying final circuit. But not Dunlop and Johnson.
They fired through the Grandstand at the end of the opening lap, while Cameron Donald and the other main podium protagonists came in for fuel.
It turned the leaderboard on its head with Michael Dunlop moving into a five second lead from Johnson. Donald slipped down to fifth after a slow pit for fuel, with Anstey now second on his Padgetts Honda, 30 seconds down on Johnson. Keith Amor and Guy Martin had also overhauled the Wilson Craig rider.
Just eight miles later, Dunlop was parking his Yamaha again, this time at Ballig Bridge and by the end of the lap, Johnson and Donald were level on time with just one lap remaining. Donald upped the ante at the opening checkpoint, taking a four second advantage, but his PTR prepared Honda then cried ‘enough’ at Kirk Michael village.
Anstey was the new leader as Johnson’s late pit stop forced him down to fourth behind Amor and Martin.