Gary Johnson claimed his first career TT win with a dominating performance in the Monster Energry Supersport Race 2. John McGuinness (bottom left) and Guy Martin (bottom right) rounded out the Supersport rostrum.
Honda’s Gary Johnson claimed the first TT victory of his career on Thursday, the English rider tallying an impressive performance in the second Monster Energy Supersport race. Johnson dominated, leading the field from start to finish in a race that was postponed from Wednesday due to rain. Fellow Honda man John McGuinness placed runner up to Johnson, with Relentless Suzuki’s Guy Martin snaring yet another Isle of Man TT podium – his third of 2011.
Johnson jumped up front early, the East Coast Construction sponsored rider turning a 125.587 mph lap on the first turn of the mountain circuit. After the conclusion of Lap 1, Johnson enjoyed a 10-second lead over his pursuers, McGuinness, Martin and Wilson Craig Honda’s Cameron Donald. Johnson would maintain his advantage all the way to the finish.
“I’m just over the moon, winning my first ever TT is something very special and it’s an amazing feeling. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to achieving for a long time,” said Johnson in a team press release. “I didn’t want to mess about on the first lap and just wanted to get my head down and find a comfortable pace. I knew I was fast but the bike just felt great. I didn’t feel out of shape at all and just was riding it to how it felt comfortable. I was getting pit boards around the track and it was up to +14 at one point then it came down to +9 so I knew I had to pull the pin a little bit and not back off too much.”
The man pressing Johnson on Lap 3 was Donald, who managed to move up into second. The 16-time TT winning McGuinness retained a podium pace in third, with Martin and Manx rider Dan Kneen behind. Following Kneen were Supersport Race 1 winner, Padgetts Honda’s Bruce Anstey and runner-up Keith Amor, the latter rider having crashed during Wednesday’s race just before it was red flagged on Lap 2 and postponed until Thursday.
One of the favorites for a SS win, Michael Dunlop was a non-factor Thursday. The Northern Ireland rider ran into bike problems with his Street Sweep Yamaha on the first lap. The technical difficulties prove particularly vexing considering
Guy Martin got his third podium for 2011 in Supersport Race 2, the popular rider still hunting for that first-ever TT win.
Dunlop was leading the Supersport 2 race on Wednesday before it was red flagged. Elder brother William ran into problems as well, dropping out of eighth position on the final lap.
It would prove to be a double whammy for the Wilson Craig team, as Donald’s CBR600RR failed only two miles from the finish, en route to a likely second-place result. The result of Donald’s demotion from the rostrum was Martin’s gain, the popular road racer having had a nasty public spat with his former Wilson Craig employers after last year’s TT effort (which also included some technical issues to the Honda, as well as questionable antics by Martin – read more in Guy Martin Generates Heat at Isle of Man TT).
Also yielding position due to DNF was Kneen, all of which bumped Amor into fourth and Anstey into fifth on the final tally. McAdoo Kawasaki’s Conor Cummins got his best TT result of the year in sixth. As for McGuinness, it is the first Supersport TT podium for the King of the Mountain since 2008 – the Padgetts Honda man currently leading the 2011 TT points heading into tomorrow’s Senior TT finale.
The accolades on Thursday, however, belong to Johnson, who is enjoying his best TT campaign to date. The 28-year-old scored his first TT podium during the Superbike opener, with a fourth-place finish in Supersport 1. Now he can credit a TT victory to his name.
“The support that you get is unreal I saw some of my mates up on the Mountain including David Knight and they were all cheering me on,” said Johnson on his inaugural victory. “The fans were just brilliant all waving their programs and cheering me on all the way round the last lap it’s just an incredible feeling, awesome, it’s the best feeling in the world I’m really pleased. I’d just like to thank Phil and all the East Coast Racing boys, Spider and James and the support also from Mick Grant this week, thanks everyone and sorry if I’ve missed anyone out!! I just hope I can get a good result in the Senior tomorrow and finish the week on a real high.”
The six-lap Senior TT will take place Friday June 10th at 12:15 p.m. local time.
2011 Isle of Man TT Supersport 2 Results:
1. Gary Johnson (Honda) 123.819 mph
2. John McGuinness (Honda) 123.582 mph
3. Guy Martin (Suzuki) 123.220 mph
4. Keith Amor (Honda) 122.986 mph
5. Bruce Anstey (Honda) 122.814 mph
6. Conor Cummins (Kawasaki) 120.077
7. Ben Wylie (Yamaha) 119.850 mph
8. Roy Richardson (Yamaha) 119.251 mph
9. James Hillier (Kawasaki) 119.067 mph
Sidecar tandem John Holden and Andy Winkle snatched their first TT victory in the second Sidecar race.
10. Mark Buckley (Kawasaki) 118.422 mph
11. Russ Mountford (Yamaha) 118.322 mph
12. Dean Harrison (Yamaha) 117.697 mph
13. Paul Owen (Yamaha) 117.476 mph
14. Roger Maher (Yamaha) 117.069 mph
15. Robert Barber (Suzuki) 116.794 mph
Sidecar 2 TT
Sidecar tandem John Holden and Andy Winkle snatched their first TT victory in the second Sidecar TT at the Isle of Man. The duo took advantage of technical problems to the favorites and Race 1 winners, Klaus Klaffenbock and Dan Sayle, who led most of the three-lap race but would fade to sixth on the final timesheet. Conrad Harrison/Mike Aylott and Tony Elmer/Darren Marshall rounded out the Sidecar Race 2 podium.
Klaffenbock and Sayle appeared destined to register their fourth consecutive TT Sidecar win, the Honda-mounted pair up by more than 16 seconds heading onto the final lap. The IOMTT press office reports a broken water hose clip was the blame for the dramatic loss of speed that saw Klaffenbock’s pace drop from 114 mph laps to the final 103.9 mph Lap 3. Holden and Winkle had placed second to Klaffenbock in the opening race, their 113.469 mph average good enough for a clear victory.
2011 Isle of Man TT Sidecar 2 Results:
1. John Holden/Andrew Winkle (LCR) 113.469 mph
2. Conrad Harrison/Mike Aylott (Shelbourne) 112.062 mph
3. Tony Elmer/Darren Marshall (Yamaha) 111.212 mph
4. Tim Reeves/Gregory Cluze (Honda) 111.188 mph
5. Ben Birchall/Tom Birchall (LCR) 110.971 mph
6. Klaus Klaffenbock/Dan Sayle (Honda) 110.666 mph
7. Gary Bryan/Jamie Winn (Baker) 109.894 mph
8. Douglas Wright/Martin Hull (Baker) 109.180 mph
9. Robert Handcock/Ken Edwards (Honda) 107.360 mph
10. Carl Fenwick/Mark Sayers (Shelbourne) 106.807 mph