Smiths Triumph’s Gary Johnson came out on top in an exciting Supersport race at the Isle of Man, finishing just 1.5 seconds clear of Valvoline Racing/Padgetts Honda’s Bruce Anstey to take his second TT win. Johnson grabbed the lead on the opening lap, but the gap to Anstey constantly fluctuated. So although the difference was a mere 0.011 of a second at Cronk ny Mona on the final lap, the Lincolnshire rider grabbed the win to give the British manufacturer their first win in over 10 years, the last man to do so was Anstey in the same race in 2003. Rounding out the podium was Michael Dunlop, also on a Honda.
The tone for the rain-delayed race was set at Glen Helen on the opening lap as only 0.009 of a second separated Johnson and Anstey with Dunlop only a further half second back. Dean Harrison was holding onto a good fourth, a position he held jointly with Guy Martin whilst Conor Cummins slotted into sixth.
As the lap progressed, Johnson held the lead by a small margin and with an opening lap of 125.766 mph, he moved 1.6 seconds ahead of Anstey as they headed out onto lap two. Dunlop was still in third but had slipped to three seconds behind with Harrison, Cummins and Martin still filling the top six positions.
By Glen Helen second time around, Anstey moved into the lead by only 0.8 of a second, but he did not hold it for long as Johnson went back to the lead by Ramsey by 0.7 of a second. Dunlop had also closed in and only 1.5 seconds separated the three riders as they headed up over the Mountain.
Johnson and the Triumph were quickest and he came into the pits with the fastest lap of the race – 126.732mph - and a lead of 2.4 seconds. Dunlop also fell back, 3.7 seconds behind Anstey. As has happened in so many races though, Antsey’s crew turned their man round the quickest and the gap at Glen Helen on the third lap was back down to just a third of a second.
The lead had extended to 3.8 seconds by Ramsey, Johnson again having a great run from Glen Helen, but with a bit of rain falling over the Mountain, Anstey had brought the gap back down to 2.8 seconds as the riders headed out onto their final lap.
Johnson again proved the quickest to Glen Helen, almost doubling his lead, but Anstey was on a charge and the gap continued to fall throughout the lap. Down to 2.3 seconds at the Ramsey Hairpin, the two could barely be separated at the Bungalow or Cronk ny Mona. But Johnson wasn’t to be denied and he came home for his second TT win, three years after he won the second Supersport race in 2011.
Dunlop was a comfortable third, but the battle for fourth was in doubt for much of the final lap but when Cummins went out at Ginger Hall, it allowed Harrison to take the position. Teammates William Dunlop and Guy Martin finished fifth and sixth respectively. And James Hillier, Lee Johnston, Michael Rutter and Keith Amor rounded out the top ten.
2014 Isle of Man TT Supersport Results
1. Gary Johnson
2. Bruce Antsey
3. Michael Dunlop
4. Dean Harrison
5. William Dunlop
6. Guy Martin
7. James Hillier
8. Lee Johnston
9. Michael Rutter
10. Keith Amor