Gary Johnson ended his three year wait for a second victory at the Isle of Man TT by beating Bruce Anstey in the opening Monster Energy Supersport race on Monday. The pair were closely matched throughout a thrilling race but Johnson held off a final lap charge to give Triumph their first TT win for eleven years.
Overnight rain and fog caused a three hour delay to proceedings until the mountain circuit was safe enough for racing but the shootout between Johnson and Anstey kicked off immediately, the two being separated by just 0.009s at Glen Helen on the opening lap. A 125.766mph run propelled Johnson into a 1.616s first lap lead and after upping the pace still further second time around, the Smiths rider looked in control with a 2.4s lead at half distance.
Anstey wasn’t finished though and thanks to swift work from his Valvoline Racing/Padgetts Honda crew, the New Zealander remained a threat heading into the final lap. Anstey threw everything he had at the task in hand with a 126.199mph run but Johnson did just enough to keep him at bay, losing just half a second to his pursuer and holding on for victory. After losing touch following his pit stop, Michael Dunlop had no option but to settle for third.
Conor Cummins had looked set to finish fourth but the Manxman dropped out at Ginger Hall on the last lap, promoting Dean Harrison. The Tyco Suzukis of William Dunlop and Guy Martin completed the top six while Ivan Lintin took twelfth to finish as the leading privateer, extending his lead in the Privateer’s Championship.