Isle of Man TT: Johnson cherishes Super debut
Lincolnshire’s Gary Johnson won a controversial TT Supersport Race two yesterday on the Isle of Man, whilst there was more disappointment for Ballymoney brothers Michael and William Dunlop.
Michael pulled in at Ballacraine on lap one to correct a problem which ruled him out of contention, and William was forced to retire his Wilson Craig Honda from seventh place on the final lap.
John McGuinness took second place from his 50th finish on the Mountain Circuit, with Guy Martin taking his third podium of the week for Relentless Suzuki on the third step of the podium.
Both men were promoted one place in the finishing order when Cameron Donald agonisingly parked his Wilson Craig Honda on the final lap just two miles from home, with yet another engine problem.
Donald was holding a solid second place at the time of his retirement.
It may have been Johnson’s debut TT victory but the race was tainted with controversy when a red flag was incorrectly displayed at Ramsey, followed by another red flag showing at Union Mills.
This temporarily halted the progress of podium chasers Guy Martin and Keith Amor, who were together on the road at the start of lap three.
Cameron Donald also claimed to have been affected by the red flag at Union Mills. The 33-year-old said: “I slowed and put my hand up, but when I saw Keith and Guy riding away from me I gunned it again.
“It certainly slowed all three of us.” It was later revealed, a marshal incorrectly displayed the red flag, which was quickly withdrawn and the race continued.
Martin was also agitated at the end of the race, stating in his usual direct manner: “This is just not right. They need to get the job sorted.
“I take nothing away from Gary or John, as the boys were on it. I saw the flag at Union Mills and slowed for two or three miles, so who knows what sort of time I lost, but it will all come out in the wash.”
Despite the farcical error and gripes from his fellow competitors, Johnson just wasn’t being beaten in the Supersport race.
At the opening checkpoint at Glen Helen on lap one, he had already put almost 10 seconds into his rivals and although the minor podium positions changed hands on numerous occasions, the East Coast Honda rider held his station to take a memorable debut TT win.
“We had a real good start. I knew we were going to be strong and the plan was to make a break at the start and then try to hold it,” explained the smiling Lincolnshire man.
“We’ve had a few problems in the week but the team fixed all those and did a great job today.
“I’d still like a big bike win here but we won’t push things in the Senior. We’ll just see how it goes.”
Amor recovered from yesterday’s crash to finish in a fine fourth place with Bruce Anstey fifth and Conor Cummins sixth. Roger Maher was the top Irish finisher in 14th place with newcomer Dean Harrison having a storming ride in 12th.
Meanwhile, Dungannon’s Ryan Farquhar, who was released from hospital on Monday after crashing during last week’s final practice session at Keppel Gate, passed his medical yesterday and will race in today’s six-lap Senior TT.
Wearing a support on his lower back, the battered and bruised Dungannon man rode in the Senior TT practice lap and despite feeling a little discomfort, he will look to finish today’s six lapper.
John Holden and Andy Winkle won their first-ever sidecar TT in the second three lap race yesterday, after Monday’s winners, Klaus Klaffenbock and Dan Sayle retired on the final circuit with a 17-second lead.
Conrad Harrison and Mike Aylott finished second with Tony Elmer and Darren Marshall taking a debut TT podium in third place.
Michael Rutter was the winner of the ‘electric bike’ TT Zero one lap race from Mark Miller and George Spence.