Bruce Anstey took first in the IOMTT Supersport Race 1 by one of the smallest margins in TT history. Cameron Donald (left) took second and William Dunlop (right) took third.
Padgett’s MMCG Racing’s Bruce Anstey won an incredibly close Isle of Man TT race in Monster Energy Supersport on Monday, coming out mere 0.77 seconds ahead of Wilson Craig Racing’s Cameron Donald. The last lap was a heated battle between the top riders after McAdoo Racing’s Michael Dunlop was forced to pull out at Ballig Bridge on Lap 3 after holding a commanding lead through the first two laps. The Wilson Craig team got both its riders on the Supersport 1 podium, with William Dunlop claiming third just 21 seconds behind his teammate.
The Supersport race was delayed for two hours due to a traffic accident, but once it got started the conditions were pristine. Brothers Michael and William Dunlop led the opening lap but were followed closely by Honda rider Gary Johnson in third with Donald, Anstey, Kawasaki’s Ryan Farquhar and Padgett’s Honda/Superbike TT winner John McGuinness making up the top seven, all of whom were within three seconds of the lead. By the end of Lap 1, Donald had moved ahead of William Dunlop for second, while Michael Dunlop had extended his lead to over 10 seconds. Tyco Suzuki rider Guy Martin of pulled in by the end of Lap 1 and was unable to complete the race.
Michael Dunlop continued to blaze forward, nearly 22 seconds in front at half the race distance. Johnson now occupied the runner-up position with William Dunlop holding steady in third. Anstey was up to fourth and Donald was back in fifth when the riders came into the pits to refuel.
On Lap 3, Michael Dunlop was reported late at Glen Helen and the Irish rider had stopped and wouldn’t finish the race. Johnson then took the lead by a margin of 3.5 seconds over Donald, who once again occupied second. Anstey now moved up to third place with William Dunlop down to fourth.
Positions changed through every timing point during the remaining 37.73 miles. Donald was first to cross the finish line, but the result was not decided until Anstey came through, having bested the Australian rider by less than a second. The win is the second closest finish in TT history behind Mark Baldwin’s 0.6 second win over the late Mick Lofthouse in 1995.
Running a podium pace, Johnson ran out of fuel late in the race and had to push in. The English rider finished 28th, giving William Dunlop the final podium position. Farquhar was on pace to take fourth after passing McGuinness, but the Irishman also ran out of fuel on the final lap and failed to finish. Bournemouth Kawasaki’s James Hillier took fifth, earning his best TT finish to date.
Isle of Man Supersport TT Results 2012:
1. Bruce Anstey, (Honda) 124.160mph
2. Cameron Donald (Honda) 124.138mph
3. William Dunlop (Honda) 123.542mph
4. John McGuinness (Honda) 123.310mph
5. James Hillier (Kawasaki) 120.046mph
6. Ian Lougher (Kawasaki) 119. 776mph
7. Roy Richardson (Yamaha) 119.776mph
8. Dan Stewart (Honda) 119.503mph
9. Ian Hutchinson (Yamaha) 119.283mph
10. Ivan Lintin (Kawasaki) 118.586mph
11. Daniel Cooper (Triumph) 118.124mph
12. Adrian Archibald (Yamaha) 118.080mph
13. Robert Wilson (Kawasaki) 117.932mph
14. Russ Mountford (Yamaha) 117.745mph
15. Stefano Bonetti (Honda) 117.739mph