7 June 2015
TT 2015: Anstey seals maiden Superbike victory
Kiwi Bruce Anstey won Sunday's RST Superbike race at the Isle of Man TT from Ian Hutchinson to seal his maiden win in the class on the Mountain Course.
Bruce Anstey clinched his maiden feature class victory in a hotly contested RST Superbike race on Sunday after reeling in early pacesetter Ian Hutchinson.
It was outright lap record holder Anstey's 10th victory on the Mountain Course and complete the set for the popular Kiwi, who has previously won races in the 250cc, Supersport and Superstock classes.
The Valvoline Padgetts Honda rider set the fastest lap on the race of 131.797mph on the sixth and final lap as he crossed the line with almost 11 seconds in hand over Hutchinson on the PBM Kawasaki, who made his return to the Superbike rostrum for the first time since his historic five-timer in 2010.
Quattro Plant Kawasaki's James Hillier claimed the final place on the podium after Michael Dunlop crashed out on the last lap at The Nook on the Buildbase BMW, causing a red flag situation.
Dunlop emerged from an ambulance shortly afterwards at the Grandstand and appeared to be relatively unhurt after the incident, which is understood to have also involved a slower rider.
John McGuinness finished fourth on the Honda Racing Fireblade with the top six completed by Tyco BMW's William Dunlop and Michael Rutter on the Penz13.com Bathams BMW.
Dunlop's Tyco BMW team-mate Guy Martin was a retirement on the opening lap at Ballagarey.
After a three-minute delay, the race got underway at 2.03pm and Hutchinson led at Glen Helen by just 0.2s from Anstey with Hillier in third just half a second further back.
By Ramsey though, Hillier had taken over at the front with his advantage over Anstey half a second with Hutchinson back in third and only a further half a second adrift.
An opening lap of 130.959mph gave Hutchinson the lead after the run over the Mountain with his lead over Anstey 1.2s as Hillier slotted into third. Dunlop moved up to fourth with McGuinness in fifth and Gary Johnson in sixth.
Hutchinson stretched his lead at each of the commentary points on lap two and with a near identical lap, 130.901mph, the gap over Anstey was up to 4.4s as the riders came in for their first pit stop.
Hillier maintained station in third, four seconds down on Anstey with McGuinness still in fifth behind Dunlop. Johnson was holding onto sixth from Conor Cummins and William Dunlop.
The gap between the leaders remained practically the same for most of lap three, with Hutchinson's lead now 4.79s. Dunlop was up to third, 13 seconds in arrears with Hillier only two seconds behind.
McGuinness was now joined by his Honda team-mate Cummins in the top six.
Anstey, though, was beginning to make a charge and slashed the deficit to Hutchinson on lap four, setting a lap of 131.333mph to close the gap to 0.2s coming into the second pit stop.
After a slick pit stop, Anstey led out of the pits by one second and extended the gap to 2.5 seconds by Glen Helen.
The 45-year old was now circulating on the roads in close company with McGuinness, Hillier and Dunlop and he pulled a few tenths out at each commentary point.
Anstey's lead was up to 5.5s at Ballaugh on the final lap and with a final, flying lap of 131.797mph, he crossed the line 10.9s clear of Hutchinson.
Michael Dunlop's final lap charge ended at the Nook when tangled with a slower rider, gifting Hillier third and his first ever Superbike TT podium.
McGuinness, William Dunlop and Michael Rutter completed the top six but the incident at the Nook brought the red flag out and no other riders completed the full race distance.
Following the Dunlop incident, seventh place onwards was taken from the end of the fifth lap and so Dan Kneen, Peter Hickman, Lee Johnston and David Johnson completed the top ten.
Lincolnshire's Gary Johnson came off the GBmoto Kawasaki at Guthries on the mountain but was reported to be okay.
Andy Lawson was taken by airmed to Nobles with neck and arm injuries after an accident at Guthries while Scott Wilson, who was the other rider involved in the accident at the Nook, was also taken by helicopter to Nobles and was reported to have a broken clavicle.
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