New Zealander Bruce Anstey continued his dominance of the TT Superstocks when he won the Scottish Life International-sponsored event in the Isle of Man today after one of the most exciting races in the history of the meeting. It was his fifth TT triumph.
Anstey’s Suzuki, and the Kawasaki of Ian Hutchinson, had enjoyed a race-long duel with only a few seconds separating them for most of the race until Anstey extended his advantage on the final lap. In fact, Hutchinson – who was third in Saturday’s Superbike TT - got his nose in front, briefly, on lap three. The final margin of victory was 8.3 seconds with Jason Griffiths, Yamaha, 23 seconds behind Hutchinson in third place.
The start had been delayed for an hour as a result of patches of sea mist but when racing got underway it was last year’s winner, Bruce Anstey, who swept into the lead. By the time he reached Ramsey Hairpin, about two-thirds of the way round the first lap, he had an advantage of three seconds over Ian Hutchinson with Guy Martin third. Next came Jason Griffiths, John McGuinness and Ian Lougher.
The end of the first circuit saw Anstey’s lap of 125.729 miles an hour giving him a four seconds lead over Hutchinson who, in turn, was six seconds ahead of Martin. The next three places were filled by Jason Griffiths, John McGuinness and Adrian Archibald.
Spectators continued to see very close racing on lap two and by the time the Bungalow had been reached only half a minute separated the first six riders. Anstey came into the pits for re-fuelling with a three seconds lead over Hutchinson but the next check point at Glen Helen reported that the lead was now down to less than a second. Martin was still third, 12 seconds down on Hutchinson, and then came Griffiths, McGuinness and Ian Lougher, the latter having got past Archibald.
The difference at Ballaugh Bridge on lap three was precisely 0.57 seconds and then came news that at Ramsey Hairpin Hutchinson had gone into the lead by 0.18 seconds. However, Anstey was back in front by one second at the Bungalow and two by the end of the lap. Jason Griffiths had passed Martin to take over third position. McGuinness and Lougher were still fifth and sixth.
Anstey continued to extend his lead very slightly on the final lap. He was 2.85 seconds ahead of Hutchinson at Glen Helen, 5.69 at Ballaugh Bridge, 7.07 at Ramsey Hairpin and 6.89 at the Bungalow.
Manxman Conor Cummins was the best newcomer. He finished in 22nd position to win a bronze replica and in fact just missed out on a silver..
Result: 1. Bruce Anstey, Suzuki, 1 12 56.34 (124.147); 2. Ian Hutchinson, Kawasaki, 1 13 04.64 (123.912); 3. Jason Griffiths, Yamaha, 1 13 28.19 (123.25.)
Medical bulletins say that solo riders Jun Maeda and Seamus Greene, who were injured in practising, are ‘critical’ as is sidecar passenger James Cornell. Robbie Silvester and Keith Stewart who crashed in Saturday’s Superbike TT are ‘comfortable’ in Noble’s Hospital, Douglas while two other riders – Barry Wood and Chris Petty - who had spills in the same race - have now been discharged from hospital.