Anstey Takes 8th TT Win With Supersport Victory at the Isle of Man

anstey_wins_SupsersportExperienced Kiwi campaigner Bruce Anstey won his 8th Isle of Man TT race on Monday afternoon when he clinched victory in a shortened, and dramatic, 3-lap Monster Energy Supersport Race 1. The original race was red flagged following an incident at Gorse Lea.

The Padgetts Honda rider took the win by 8.39s when race leader Cameron Donald retired his Wilson Craig Honda at Kirk Michael on the final lap and the Kiwi was able to come home ahead of Keith Amor, who notched up his best ever TT result, and Guy Martin, the Relentless by TAS Suzuki man having been able to make the race after an earlier spill at Creg ny Baa.

With conditions perfect all around the Mountain Course, the race was re-started at 1.00pm with pit stops likely to be crucial and it was Donald who led by just 0.1s from Michael Dunlop with Anstey a further second back and Gary Johnson only a further tenth in arrears. Riders were jockeying for position close behind as well with John McGuinness, Amor, Dan Kneen and Martin occupying positions 5th to 8th and separated by just 3 seconds.

By Ramsey, Dunlop was very much the man on the move and he’d turned his deficit into a 1.5s lead over Donald with Johnson now having overhauled Anstey. The gaps were beginning to increase with Amor now three seconds behind Anstey and ahead of McGuinness, Martin and Kneen.

At the end of the first lap, it was Dunlop who was surging clear, his opening speed of 125.852mph sending him almost six seconds clear of Donald with Johnson now only 1.7s behind the Australian. Anstey, Martin and Amor that rounded out the top six but, with the exception of Dunlop, Johnson, Ian Lougher and Conor Cummins, most of the front runners pitted for fuel so the race entered a confused state as positions changed and large gaps appeared.

By the time they got to Glen Helen, Johnson was the leader by some 37 seconds with Dunlop having gone out at Ballig Bridge. Lougher was holding onto second from Donald and Cummins with Anstey, Martin, Amor and McGuinness in hot pursuit.

Johsnon’s lead was still 37s at Ramsey but it was now Donald in second followed by Anstey, Martin and Amor, the gap between the last two just 0.8s. Amor and McGuinness were circulating at the head of the field but it would all change after the pit stops. Johnson’s lead was down to 30s as he pitted for fuel and it didn’t look like it would be enough for him to retain the lead and that’s how it turned out.

Through Glen Helen and Donald was back in front but it was still tight, his lead over Anstey just 4s. Amor was gaining time through all the sectors, now having moved up to third on time, some three seconds clear of Martin whilst Johnson’s strategy had clearly backfired as he slipped back to fifth place. There was drama ahead though when Donald failed to reach Ballaugh, his bike having expired at Kirk Michael, the same fate befalling Cummins who stopped on the approach to the same village.

That meant that Anstey now held sway at the front and with the fastest lap of the race – 126.595mph – he held on for another TT victory to firmly make up for the disappointment of Saturday when he retired from the Dainese Superbike race. Amor was secure in second, almost eight seconds to the good from Martin but he only just held onto the final podium spot from fellow Lincolnshire man Johnson, the eventual margin just 1.18s.

McGuinness had a solid ride into fifth with Dan Kneen back on form in 6th whilst Ian Lougher, Ben Wylie, Ian Mackman and Dan Stewart rounded out the top ten. Meanwhile, fine rides came from newcomers Robert Wilson, Dean Harrison and Dan Hegarty, the trio finishing in 23rd, 25th and 26th respectively.

McGuinness continues to lead the TT Championship with 36 points, 3 ahead of Amor whilst Wylie was the first Privateer to finish although Mackman’s second place means he has 45 points, 16 ahead of Mark Buckley.

[Press Release Courtesy of Isle of Man Media Office]

Another Rider Dies at the TT: Derek Brien Dead After Supersport Race

derick_brienThe 2011 Isle of Man TT has been a deadly event so far. Today, Derek Brien lost his life after an accident in the first Supersport race at the Isle of Man. Brien is the third rider to lose his life this year around the mountain course.

Brien, 34, was involved in a high speed accident during the first Supersport race at the 2011 Isle of Man TT. The race was red flagged, but is expected to continue later today.

Here is a statement from the ACU:

“ACU Events Ltd regrets to announce the death of Derek Brien, 34, from Co. Meath in Ireland who was killed during the first Supersport race at the 2011 Isle of Man TT Races following a high speed accident at Gorse Lea. The race was immediately red flagged following the incident.

“Derek was an experienced road racer who first competed on the Isle of Man in the Manx Grand Prix in 2007 and competed in the TT Races in 2009 and 2010. He had a highest TT place of 13th in the 2010 Supersport 1 race.

“Derek was single with a partner, Sarah. The ACU wishes to pass on their deepest sympathy to Derek’s family and friends.”

Brien’s death comes just a few days after Bill Currie and Kevin Morgan met a similar fate around the mountain course. Currie and Morgan were killed during the first sidecar qualifying event at the 2011 Isle of Man TT.

Courtesy of

After Setting Fastest Lap, Martin Ready for TT Races

guy_martin_isle_of_man_ttAfter posting the second fastest Superbike lap time of 129.333mph this week on his Relentless Suzuki by TAS GSX-R1000, Guy Martin has declared himself fit, healthy and ready to race, despite missing last night’s practice session along with the rest of the 2011 TT solo competitors.

A road traffic accident followed by an oil slick dumped by a sidecar forced the session to be abandoned. Tonight (Friday) will be the final practice available to solo competitors before tomorrow’s six-lap Superbike TT. The action gets underway at 12pm.

Making his TT debut with the Relentless Suzuki by TAS team is former Suzuki Endurance Racing Team member and Le Mans 24-Hour winner Guillaume Dietrich. The German-born “Newcomer” set a speed and time of 102.187mph/ 22:09.21sec.

Guy Martin:

“We’ve had a steady-away practice week and as I’ve told quite a few people already, the racing starts on Saturday, so there’s no need to hang them out in practice. It’s a matter of getting everything the way we want for racing and the big GSX-R1000 Superbike is ready to race. I’ve enjoyed this week getting back out on the TT Circuit and I feel comfortable and confident on the TAS Racing bikes; everyone is doing their job and we’re happy, so let’s hope it all comes together on Saturday.”

Philip Neill – Team Manager:

“Although it is still very early days, it really is pleasing to get off to a good start. Guy has now completed four laps on the Superbike – two on the Superstock and two on the Supersport bike. He has declared himself happy with each of his GSX-R machines after taking the second fastest time of the week at 129.333mph. He even declared the Superbike ready to race already, although we will continue to make some very minor tweaks to help make his job that little bit easier.

“Guillaume is steadily finding his way around the TT Circuit and is enjoying the experience, although he did have a minor mishap on his first lap earlier in the week. We are obviously not concerned with his lap times at this point. It is very important that he feels completely comfortable before building up speed.

“As I say, so far so good; let’s hope it continues this way and we have some luck on our side this year!”

Guy Martin’s Lap Times to date:

Superbike – 129.333mph/ 17:30.22sec.
Superstock – 125.720mph/ 18:00.40sec.
Supersport – 123.182mph/ 18:22.66sec.

Guillaume Dietrich’s best lap to date as a Newcomer: 102.187mph/ 22:09.21sec.

[Press Release and Photo Courtesy of Suzuki Racing]

Anstey Fastest During Qualifying at Isle of Man TT

bruce_ansteyKiwi Bruce Anstey, riding for the Yorkshire based Padgetts Honda Racing team, showed his hand with the fastest time of the week in the third qualifying session at the 2011 Isle of Man TT Races, fuelled by Monster Energy.

A cloudy day on the Isle of Man gave way to sunny intervals in time for Wednesday’s session but with a stiff breeze, competitors would have to take particular care, as expected, over the Mountain although the wind could be felt all the way round the 37 and ¾ mile course. There was also a lack of adhesion at Ballagarey reported ahead of the practice but with good visibility and dry roads, conditions were otherwise ideal for some high speed laps.

Guy Martin and Michael Dunlop who got the session underway slightly later than scheduled at 6.29pm, both on their Superbikes, and following them were Gary Johnson, Keith Amor, James Hillier, Bruce Anstey, Ryan Farquhar and Ian Lougher, all also Superbike mounted with the exception of Farquhar and Lougher who were on their Superstock and Supersport machines respectively. Dan Kneen was slow to leave the line but after a few adjustments he was soon on his way.

Martin was the first to complete the lap at 128.35mph with Dunlop right on his tail at 128.269mph, the Ulsterman later nosing ahead on the road, although it didn’t last long as he soon retired at Ginger Hall. Johnson was the quickest though at 128.452mph whilst Amor, Anstey and Dan Stewart were all in the 127mph bracket with John McGuinness further back on 126.029mph, the Honda TT Legends rider immediately pulling in to make adjustments before getting back out on the course. Michael Rutter was going well on the Ducati at 125.69, only slightly slower than Cameron Donald on 125.76mph whilst Lougher was the quickest Supersport machine at 119.85mph.

Johnson and Amor were the quickest through the Sulby speed trap at 191.2mph but Davy Morgan again out of luck, this time getting as far as Quarry Bends, whilst Paul Owen, Jim Hodson and Brian McCormack were some of the other riders to experience technical problems.

Second time around and Martin upped his pace to 129.333mph but it was Anstey who went to the top of the leaderboard with a lap of 129.695mph, his best ever lap around the Mountain Course. Amor, who was trying a different tyre and suspension combination, dropped back to 126.42mph but Rutter was another to improve, this time to 126.811mph. William Dunlop was another to lap quicker than ever before at 125.872mph but McGuinness was slower still at 125.64mph whilst Ben Wylie got his first 120mph lap of the week in on his Supersport machine. Farquhar was again in trouble though, his second lap on the Superstock machine a lowly 95.99mph having stopped at Sulby before being able to proceed.

Martin, Johnson, Stewart and McGuinness all switched to their Supersport machines, the former initially quickest at 121.977mph but Donald, who was on his second lap on his 600, was going well at 125.110mph with William Dunlop later going second quickest at 123.959. Anstey, meanwhile, put in a speed of 124.396mph on his Superstock bike, the slightly lower speeds most likely due to the bright sun that was now shining, the clouds having completely dispersed to give way to clear blue skies.

Amor was later off at Quarterbridge on his Superstock bike, and was later reported to have a dislocated shoulder, whilst McGuinness stopped at the Mountain Box before proceeding with Lougher another high profile rider in trouble, this time retiring at Creg ny Baa.

The newcomers again continued to make good progress though and it was again Simon Andrews who was quickest at a highly impressive 119.465mph but Dean Harrison and Piotr Betlej were also going well at 114.83mph and 114.969mph respectively.

At 8pm, the sidecar session commenced with Klaus Klaffenbock and Daniel Sayle leading the field away from John Holden/Andy Winkle, Tim Reeves/Gregory Cluze and Conrad Harrison/Mike Aylott. Klaffenbock’s first lap was 112.488mph with Holden and Reeves second and third at 111.066mph and 109.954mph but Elmer was a retirement at the Creg. Klaffenbock went quicker second time around at 113.754mph but Reeves was delighted with his lap of 111.379mph whilst Dougie Wright and Ben Birchall were both going well on their return to the Mountain, Wright lapping at 105.33mph and Birchall at 105.42mph.

Piotr Betlej was attended to by the red cross after an incident at Signpost but was confirmed as okay.

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Kennaugh and Miller Set for TT Assault

Hud_iomttThe UK-based South African rider Hudson Kennaugh will join America’s Mark Miller onboard a pair of Aprilia RSV4s to tackle the world famous road race as it celebrates its Centenary year.

Kennaugh will fly out to the island on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon after he contests Round Four of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Thruxton, ahead of first practice later that evening.

This will be the second time that Kennaugh, who finished runner-up in the 2010 BSB-Evo Championship, has taken part in the historic event.

He made his TT debut last year, and is relishing the opportunity to go back and take it on again. “I love the TT, it’s a fantastic event which just gets bigger each year, so to be coming back for a second attempt is just awesome,” he said.

“I’ve always had an enormous amount of respect for those guys who raced the roads, and getting out there last year was a real buzz. I’ve been keen to get back again, so it’s great to get the chance to come back with Splitlath.

“It’s new ground for me going out there on the Aprilia, but it’s going to be great. Mark’s got great form around there, so I think we can work well together. I can’t wait.”

American ace Miller is no stranger to the TT. The former AMA turned road racer has contested the event several times, winning the 2010 TT Zero electric bike race, and has competed in the Macau GP many times, which he has previously described as “a walk in the park” compared to the TT.

Team Manager John Dimbylow is looking forward to the event. “This is my first TT and I can’t wait to get out there with the bikes to experience it. We are running Aprilia RSV4s in three races, and it’s going to be good for us to see how we get on.

“Hudson was keen to do the TT again and I felt that it would be a new opportunity for Splitlath Motorsport. We are keen to develop ourselves as one of the UK’s leading Superbike teams, and believe tackling an event as famous as the TT is an essential part of the journey.”

The first qualifying session for the Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy takes place on Monday 30th May. You can listen live around the world via

[Press Release and Photo Courtesy of the IOMTT]

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