Manx joy with two riders in top six and Molyneux extends dominance in sidecars.
The race went all the way to the chequered flag though and no less than ten seconds covered the top four with John McGuinness taking second once more, this time on the Padgett’s Honda, ahead of Guy Martin (Hydrex Honda) and Anstey. All four riders broke the old lap record with Martin taking it on the final lap at 125.161mph.
It was Anstey who set the pace in the early stages and with two lap records in the first two laps, including the first ever 125mph lap on a 600cc machine, he seemingly had the race under control. His advantage was always slight though but as he came into the pits he was four and a half seconds ahead of McGuinness with Hutchinson seven seconds back in third. Martin was less than half a second adrift in fourth but two riders already out of luck were Adrian Archibald and Michael Rutter who were forced to retire on the first and second laps respectively.
As the riders left the pits, Anstey’s machine refused to start and it took almost the entire length of pit lane before it chimed into life. He had lost 23 seconds in total but it was Hutchinson who was now in the lead with his team getting him in and out quicker than the opposition and he was now seven seconds in the lead. McGuinness was still in second with Martin promoted to third and the luckless Anstey down in fourth.
The Kiwi clawed back Hutchinson’s advantage on the road but he was unable to make any further ground so all eyes were now focused on the three way dice for the lead. Matching each other at each section of the course, it was only on the Mountain run that McGuinness was able to make any impression but as they went into their final lap Hutchy still held sway by 5 seconds.
It was a similar story on the final lap and McGuinness, Anstey and Martin broke the lap record in quick succession but Hutchinson’s final lap of 124.483mph was enough to see him take his first TT win, firmly vindicating Honda’s decision to sign him in the close season. McGuinness had to accept second behind his close friend whilst Martin got his second podium of the week just ahead of Anstey.
The next few places were also hotly contested and there was Manx joy with Nigel Beattie taking fifth ahead of his young teammate Conor Cummins. Ryan Farquhar had held onto fifth in the early laps but he dropped back to seventh defeating the sensational Steve Plater by less than half a second. Chris Palmer had a great ride into ninth with Ian Lougher rounding out the top ten. There were again excellent performances by Keith Amor and Jimmy Moore with the pairing taking 12th and 15th respectively, the Scotsman also setting the fifth fastest lap of the race.
The second Bavaria F2 Sidecar race was equally as dramatic as Dave Molyneux and Rick Long claimed their second win of the week. It was Moly’s 13th win and Long’s 8th, firmly cementing their standing as the most successful driver and passenger in the TT’s history. However, it could have been so very different had Nick Crowe and Daniel Sayle not retired on the final lap.
The duo created their own bit of history as they moved the sidecar lap record to an astounding 116.667mph and they led the race by a commanding 38 seconds. No sooner had they crossed the line though their race was over with the engine expiring as they climbed Ballahutchin after exiting Union Mills. There was also heartbreak for Klaus Klaffenbock and Christian Parzer who looked like they may secure their first ever podium but they also retired on the final lap.
Molyneux was glad to accept the lead and he came home over 25 seconds clear of John Holden and Andrew Winkle with Steve Norbury and Scott Parnell again taking third, for a repeat of Monday’s podium.
Norbury seized third on the final lap after the retirements of Crowe and Klaffenbock as well as Allan Schofield slowing on the third lap. Schofield and Peter Founds looked like they would claim their first ever podium but with Gary Horspole and Mark Cox crashing in front of them at Ballaugh they were unsettled and they dropped back to fifth with Simon Neary and Stuart Bond slotting into fourth. Cox escaped injury in the spill whilst Horspole suffered a shoulder injury.
Nigel Connole/Jamie Winn and Conrad Harrison/Kerry Williams again came through the field to take excellent sixth and seventh places with the top ten completed by Glyn Jones/Chris Lake, Tony Elmer/Darren Marshall and Kenny Howles/Doug Jewell.