Anstey had a ten-second lead going into the fourth lap but was reported to have stopped at Brandywell and Hutchinson grabbed the opportunity with both hands, coming home just under seven seconds clear of Guy Martin and Keith Amor with Honda again filling the top 5 places.
With dry, sunny conditions again bathing the Island, it was Anstey, keen to make amends for Monday’s Superbike retirement, who stole the early advantage and he was just over a second clear of Martin at Glen Helen with Ryan Farquhar slotting into third. By the end of the lap though, Martin had forged ahead with a lap of 125.375mph and he was 2.7seconds clear of Hutchinson who had now demoted Anstey to third, less than four seconds covering the trio.
However, Anstey was getting in to his stride and tore around the Mountain Course to shatter his own lap record with a stunning lap of 126.549mph and he was able to turn his deficit into a near 7-second advantage. Hutchinson and Martin had also lapped in excess of 125mph with Keith Amor moving up to fourth after he too broke the old lap record with a speed of 125.608mph. Anstey though seemed to be making the race his won and many eyes were now focused on the battle for second.
A strong third lap, including a rapid pit stop, saw the Kiwi’s lead stretch to 10.07seconds and he, Hutchinson and Amor were now circulating in close formation and at high speed, thrilling the fans lining the course. Martin had caught Steve Plater on the road and was still holding onto third from Amor whilst Monday’s Superbike race winner John McGuinness was down in sixth.
All Anstey had to do was sit with Hutchinson and the race was his and this he duly did, continuing to hold on to his advantage over Hutchinson as they passed through Ramsey for the final time. However, the Suzuki rider was missing at the Bungalow and news came through that he had stopped at Brandywell, the problem eventually diagnosed as a broken wire on the amplifier. Hutchinson couldn’t afford to relax his pace on the Padgetts Honda though and a final lap of 125.726mph saw him claim his second TT victory.
Martin took second and was again inside the old lap record although it later transpired that he’d done half of the race with a blown head gasket. Amor was only 1.19seconds behind Martin at the chequered flag and he finally had the chance to stand on the podium after missing out last year due to Anstey’s post-race exclusion.
Plater was disappointed to have finished fourth whilst McGuinness had to settle for fifth on this occasion with Farquhar the first non-Honda rider home in sixth, pleased to complete the race after his retirement the day before.
Ian Lougher, Gary Johnson, William Dunlop and Conor Cummins completed the top ten whilst there were also strong performances by local rider Dan Kneen in 11th and American Jimmy Moore in 14th. The three best newcomers were Ben Wylie, Michal Dokoupil and Rico Penzkofer in 29th, 32nd and 33rd respectively, all three lapping well in excess of 118mph.
The result means that it’s Hutchinson who currently leads the standings for the Joey Dunlop Trophy overall champion with 38 points, the new TT championship points system for the highest points scorer across the five solo classes.
Joey Dunlop Trophy (after 2 races)
1 Ian Hutchinson – 38 points
2 Guy Martin – 36 points
= John McGuinness – 36 points
4 Steve Plater – 33 points
5 Gary Johnson – 19 points
6 Ian Lougher – 18 points