Photo by Road Racing News
The opening Monster energy supersport TT race of 2014 began in patchy conditions with the odd damp patches around the mountain course. Gary Johnson lead at Glen Helen on lap 1 on the Smiths Triumph by 0.009 of a second over Bruce Anstey, Michael Dunlop was half a second back in third and Dean Harrison was 1.5 seconds back in fourth place on Mar Train racing R6 Yamaha.
As lap one went on the leading trio of Johnson, Anstey and Dunlop began to break away from the chasing pack, despite it only being lap one everyone could tell this would be a close race.
Gary Johnson got the lead out front to 0.8 of a second by the time he approached Ramsey hairpin, Bruce Anstey on the Valvoline racing Padgetts motorcycles CBR 600 Honda wasn’t far behind as we began to enter the final stages of the opening lap of the race.
Photo by Road Racing News
At the end of opening lap Gary Johnson lead Bruce Anstey by over 1.6 seconds, Michael Dunlop three seconds down in third place whilst Dean Harrison and Conor Cummins where both over 9.5 seconds down in fourth and fifth place positions.
Onto lap two and Gary Johnson maintained at Glen Helen over 1.6 second over Bruce Anstey with Michael Dunlop not far behind in third place. Dean Harrison and Conor Cummins where involved in a great battle for fourth place whilst Guy Martin and William Dunlop showed consistent pace on Tyco Suzuki by TAS supersport bikes.
Johnson’s lead over Anstey grew by Ramsey hairpin and the lead was up to over two seconds. Michael Dunlop remained in third place and was still in touching distance of hitting the front on MD racing CBR 600 Honda.
As the leaders entered the pits at the end of lap two Gary Johnson had a 2.4 second lead over Bruce Anstey, Michael Dunlop was third whilst Conor Cummins occupied fourth position.
After pit stops a dramatic change in race order entailed with Anstey leapfrogging Johnson into race lead after a superb pit stop by Valvoline racing Padgetts motorcycles team. Bruce Anstey’s lead over Gary Johnson going onto lap three was a second, Michael Dunlop was over four seconds down in third place.
So onto lap three and despite losing his lead of the race during pit stops Gary Johnson regained the lead at Glen Helen but only marginally in front of Bruce Anstey. Michael Dunlop was now in a distant third place in front of Conor Cummins and Dean Harrison who completed the top five.
Positions out front remained the same as lap three went on, Ivan Lintin was producing a good ride on Taylor Lindsey racing Honda battling for a top ten position and James Cowton was impressing showing good pace on Cowton racing CBR 600 Honda.
At the end of lap three Gary Johnson maintained lead of the race by over 2.5 seconds over Bruce Anstey, Michael Dunlop remained in third place, Conor Cummins was fourth, Dean Harrison fifth and William Dunlop rounded out the top six.
By Glen Helen on the final lap everyone was wondering whether we could be seeing Triumph back on top at Isle of Man TT or was Bruce Anstey on course for his tenth TT win.
We would all soon know, Gary Johnson in the early stages on lap four got the lead up to over four seconds but at Ramsey hairpin the gap was down to under 2.5 seconds as Bruce Anstey was on a charge.
Photo by Road Racing News
Johnson’s lead in the race was in jeopardy soon as Anstey closed the gap to under a second as we entered the final stages of a exciting and closely fought Monster energy supersport TT race.
The gap went down to 0.1 of a second before both Johnson and Anstey got to Cronk Ny Mona. Once there tension was high as to who would come out on top at the end of the final lap.
Bruce Anstey crossed the line but had to wait to see whether he had recorded his tenth TT victory. It was not to be as Gary Johnson was victorious by 1.5 seconds giving Triumph their first TT win since 2003.
Gary was delighted to record his second TT win which puts him in an elite band of riders to have won twice at the worlds most famous road race.
Despite finishing runner up Bruce Anstey was happy with second place, Michael Dunlop rounded out the podium finishers in third place Michael’s 16th podium finish at the Isle of Man TT.
Dean Harrison finished in a superb fourth place on Mar Train racing R6 Yamaha, Tyco Suzuki by TAS’s William Dunlop and Guy Martin finished in fifth and sixth places whilst James Hillier produced a solid performance to finish in seventh place.
Lee Johnson recorded a personal best TT finish with eighth place for East Coast racing, Michael Rutter in his 50th TT start was ninth and Keith Amor competing in his first TT race since 2011 was 10th on Site Sealants B&W racing Honda.
Ian Hutchinson was eleventh for Milwaukee Yamaha whilst Ivan Lintin was a highly creditable 12th and David Johnson recorded a consistent 16th place finish on CD racing R6 Yamaha.
John McGuinness finished in 15th place, John is set to quicker as race week goes on as he begins to feel more comfortable with the wrist which was damaged during winter.
James Cowton finished in a brilliant 18th place, Russ Mountford’s good start to TT 2014 continued with highly creditable 19th place on Silicone engineering 675 Daytona Triumph.
So a fantastic race which produced a great battle for victory between Gary Johnson and Bruce Anstey.
Triumph last won on the mountain course eleven years ago, the famous British manufacturer are back on top after a brilliant ride from Smiths Triumph rider nicknamed aka driver Gary Johnson.
Already at TT 2014 we’ve seen some exciting, close, thrilling, entertaining and brilliant races, tomorrow is set to the superstock TT race produce another great race.