After getting rained out on Wednesday, the Isle of Man TT took advantage of one of its contingency days, and set to racing on a cold but fairly sunny Thursday. Keith Amor surely was enjoying the better weather, as he found himself sliding down the tarmac before the first running of the second Supersport race was red flagged yesterday.
A handful of riders were favored for the top step on the podium in the 600cc class, and they would have four laps to sort out who it would be: King of the Mountain John McGuinness, win-less Guy Martin, or Race 1′s winner Bruce Anstey, just to name a few.
Though John McGuinness was first off the starting line, it was Gary Johnson who ran away with Supersport Rae 2 from the very first checkpoint at Glen Helen. Racing towards his first Isle of Man TT race win, Johnson took his first victory well in control, with an 8.4 second margin over his next closest competitor at the end of the race.
While Gary Johnson had a comfortable race, the battle for second was far more contentious. After the first lap it was John McGuinness, Guy Martin, Cameron Donald, Bruce Anstey, and Dan Kneen were all within six seconds of each other, with McGuinness 10 seconds back from Johnson.
Over the second lap Johnson extended his lead over McGuinness by 15 seconds, while Australian Cameron Donald got past Guy Martin for third place. Dan Kneen also made a move into the Top 5, lapping only eight seconds overall behind Donald.
The third lap will be one of contention though, and we imagine there will be some conversations in the marshaling circles, as a a red flag was unexplainably displayed at the Ramsey Hairpin. Several riders stopped for the flag, with others slowing as confusion festered over the situation. With Race Control clarifying that there was no red flag situation, racing was soon back on in earnest — though no restitution occurred for the time lost by some riders.
With Gary Johnson now checking out from the rest of the riders, Cameron Donald turned up the pressure by passing by John McGuinness on the leader board, slotting in only 11 seconds behind Johnson. In fourth was still Guy Martin, 24 seconds behind Johnson and eight seconds behind third place McGuinness.
The last lap saw a bevy of riders retire and affect the finishing order. Dan Kneen retired at Crosby, while Cameron Donald had to watch second place disappear, as he frustratingly retired at Signpost…just two miles away from the finish line. It was more bad news for Wilson Craig Racing, as Michael Dunlop also retired, this time at Creg Ny Baa while in eighth place. The result of these retirements meant that John McGuinness moved up into second place, while Guy Martin moved into third. Keith Amor similarly moved into fourth, with Bruce Anstey took fifth at the line.
Source: IOMTT; Photo: © 2011 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0