Padgett's Honda man Bruce Anstey has won the first Isle of Man TT Supersport race this afternoon by less than one second from Cameron Donald after 151 miles of racing despite starting to run out of fuel on the run down Glencrutchery Road on the final lap.
Anstey took the lead from Gary Johnson on the way from Ramsey up the Mountain to the Bungalow, got his head down to cross the line ahead of Donald, who also passed Johnson when the Lincolnshire rider had to push in, for second. William Dunlop bagged third place with John McGuinness sliding into fourth as Ryan Farquhar ran out of fuel at Creg-ny-Baa. James Hillier inherited fifth place for his best-ever TT result.
"That’s my ninth win but it’s probably the hardest one. I saw ‘P6’ on my board early on and thought ‘oh no, not again’ after my slow start on Saturday. I wasn’t going fast enough and was a bit angry with myself so got my head down and really went for it. I ran wide once, can’t remember where, but really went for it on the last lap. I was trying really hard but my board was still saying either ‘+1’ or ‘-1’ and I eventually worked out it was Cameron who I must have been dicing with," said Anstey.
"I got a glimpse of him a few times so used him as a gauge and I just managed to squeeze home. I was a bit lucky though as I was running out of fuel on that final lap and to get a win this week, ten years after my first ever win, is pretty good. We've had the bike on the dyno all week trying to squeeze a bit more power out of it so a big thanks to the team, they've worked so hard."
Michael Dunlop was forced out of the race at Ballig Bridge, giving up a 21-second lead on lap three after setting a new race lap record of 126.948 on the second circuit. The Irishman had started the four-lapper hard, towing his brother into a two-second lead at Glen Helen on lap one and then pulling a further two seconds on William by the time they got to Ballaugh. That lead more than doubled by Ramsey and Donald, Johnson and Anstey fought for third place.
Donald passed his Wilson Craig Honda team-mate for second up the Mountain and the pair were eight seconds behind the younger Dunlop brother. At the end of lap one, Dunlop was ten seconds in front with a lap speed of 126.258mph but only three seconds covered second to fifth as Guy Martin retired in the pitlane.
Glen Helen on lap two saw Dunlop's lead stretch to more than 13 seconds but his brother was back past Donald. It was 17 seconds at Ballaugh, 20 seconds at Ramsey but Johnson had assumed second place, jumping past Donald and William Dunlop as they started their second climb up the Mountain.
As they finished lap two and started pitstops, Dunlop set his race lap record and was 21.42s in front of Johnson with William a further five seconds back and Anstey hopping in front of Donald as tyre changes took place.
Johnson assumed the lead when Dunlop retired and John McGuinness, first on the road, was gifted fifth place but 14s in arrears. The leaderboard was now tight with Donald only 3.5s behind Johnson, Anstey less than a second further back and William Dunlop 5.62s off the pace.
By the time they got to the Bungalow, Anstey had got into his groove, nicking second place from Donald and he started to close down Johnson. The lead was down to two seconds at the Grandstand as Dan Kneen, who had traded fifth place with McGuinness, slipped off at Governor's Dip and suffered minor back injuries.
As they came to Glen Helen on the fourth lap, Johnson's lead was down to a second but back up to two seconds at Ballaugh. By Ramsey, there was less than half a second in it as Johnson's problems started to bite and Anstey was past at the Bungalow but Donald also had the hammer down and he was less than a second behind Anstey.
The Kiwi kept it lit, though, to take the win with a final lap of 126.634. Donald was only fractionally slower while William Dunlop says this is his first proper TT podium as his third at Billown he says doesn't count. McGuinness was half a minute further back with Hillier two and a half minutes in arrears.
Ian Lougher took sixth, Roy Richardson seventh, Dan Stewart eighth, Ian Hutchinson ninth, Ivan Lintin tenth and Dan Cooper 11th. Adrian Archibald was 12th, Robert Wilson 13th, Russ Mountford 14th and Stefano Bonetti completed the top 15.