Smiths Triumph’s Gary Johnson scored his second career Isle of Man TT race win in the Monster Energy Supersport TT, narrowly beating Padgetts Honda’s Bruce Anstey. MD Honda’s Michael Dunlop, winner of the opening Superbike
race of 2014, finished on the podium in third. Johnson’s win also gives Triumph its first TT victory since Anstey achieved the top-step in the same race in 2003.
Following a three-hour delay due to rain and foggy conditions, the first Supersport race of this year’s TT got underway with Johnson getting to the front of the pack by a microscopic margin over Anstey. Dunlop was in the mix as well just half a second back in third-place followed by MARTRAIN Yamaha’s Dean Harrison in fourth.
Through the remaining three laps Johnson would maintain his advantage but Anstey was never far behind, coming across the stripe on Lap 2 less than a second behind the Triumph rider. During the second rotation Anstey actually took over the top-spot at Glen Helen but Johnson regained position at the head of the pack by Ramsey.
Johnson was fastest to the pit but Anstey’s team was able to get the Honda back on track with lightning-quick speed and the two were again within a fraction of a second of one another mid-way through Lap 3. Johnson pushed to stretch out his advantage but when rain started to fall in the Mountain section Anstey again closed up. He wasn’t able to surpass the Triumph ace though, and Johnson held steady to the finish, earning his first TT win since 2011.
Dunlop, meanwhile, kept pace with the front runners through the initial lap but lost ground throughout the contest, finishing over 10 seconds behind Anstey at the finish. Harrison battled with Honda’s Connor Cummins, ceding fourth-place on Lap 3, but then Cummins dropped out of the race at Ginger Hall allowing Harrison to regain the number four spot, which he held to the checkers. Tyco Suzuki’s William Dunlop finished in fifth-place ahead of teammate Guy Martin. Quattro Kawasaki’s James Hillier took seventh followed by Pirtek Racing Honda’s Lee Johnston in eighth. Isle of Man TT veteran John McGuinness was unable to notch another TT win to his already impressive resume, finishing in 15th.
Unfortunately, Yamaha rider Bob Price lost his life in the first Supersport race following a crash at Ballaugh on Lap 3. The 65 year-old rider hailed from Stroud, Gloucester and was a regular competitor in the Manx Grand Prix.
The second Supersport TT is scheduled for Wednesday June 4.
Isle of Man TT Supersport Race 1 Results 2014
1. Gary Johnson (Triumph) 124.526 mph
2. Bruce Anstey (Honda) 124.483 mph
3. Michael Dunlop (Honda) 124.194 mph
4. Dean Harrison (Yamaha) 123.350 mph
5. William Dunlop (Suzuki) 122.996 mph
6. Guy Martin (Suzuki) 122.794 mph
7. James Hillier (Kawasaki) 121.520 mph
8. Lee Johnston (Honda) 121.481 mph
9. Michael Rutter (Triumph) 121.305 mph
10. Keith Amor (Honda) 121.051 mph
11. Ian Hutchison (Yamaha) 121.023 mph
12. Ivan Lintin (Honda) 120.805 mph
13. Dan Stewart (Honda) 120.703 mph
14. Dan Kneen (Honda) 120.487 mph
15. John McGuinness (Honda) 120.450 mph