The irrepressible John McGuinness lived up to the pre-race hype as he secured his 18th Isle of Man TT victory with a stunning success in the Dainese Superbike race.

McGuinness was unstoppable as he fended off an early challenge from Australian rider Cameron Donald on the Wilson Craig Honda to win by 14 seconds, with effervescent Kiwi Bruce Anstey sealing the final place on the rostrum to complete a Honda 1-2-3.

McGuinness set a new race record for the Superbike TT on his way to victory in a time of 1h 46m 03.06s.

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The 40-year-old, who was celebrating his seventh Formula One/Superbike victory, also clocked the fastest lap of the race at 130.483mph, but Conor Cummins' 131mph effort from 2010 remains the record speed for the Superbike TT.

Anstey finished 42 seconds behind double-TT winner Donald, with Tyco Suzuki's Guy Martin a further 20 seconds in arrears on the GSX-R1000 superbike.

It was ultimately a disappointing result for Martin, who was feeling confident of challenging for that elusive maiden victory at the TT prior to the start of the six-lap race, which was delayed by 15 minutes due to sea mist affecting visibility on the Mountain.

Martin had held third place for the majority of the showdown, but Anstey produced a sizzling final two laps to overhaul a 12 second deficit to the Lincolnshire star for a deserved third place finish on Clive Padgett's Honda.

Manx favourite, Conor Cummins, was ruled out of the race on the second Tyco Suzuki after withdrawing on safety grounds.

Cummins has struggled to overcome a hand injury suffered following a crash at the North West 200 last month, which left him nursing two broken metacarpals in his right hand.

However, the Ramsey resident hopes to be back in the saddle for the remainder of the festival next week.

Anstey's team-mate, Gary Johnson, finished fifth with William Dunlop continuing to excel at TT2012 as he rounded out the leading six on the second of Northern Ireland businessman Craig's Honda Fireblades.

McGuinness's Honda Legends team-mate, Simon Andrews, crashed out on the opening lap at Graham's on the Mountain.

Andrews suffered 'suspected multiple broken bones', though none of his injuries were described as life-threatening.

Only one second covered the leading three of McGuinness, Donald and Martin after the opening lap, with Donald actually moving into the lead of the race at the Bungalow by a few tenths of a second.

Donald was refusing to let McGuinness have things all his own way and kept the pressure on the race leader on the second lap, with the Morecambe rider coming into the pits for the first scheduled stop with a three-second advantage.

McGuinness, though, began to settle into a rhythm and slowly stretched his lead as the race progressed.

Try as he might, Donald had no answer as McGuinness dug deep to open up a lead of 11 seconds by the penultimate lap and he closed out his 18th success in commanding style.

Donald settled for a superb runner-up finish in a repeat of last year's Superbike TT result, while Martin let slip a rostrum finish as he dropped into the flying Anstey's clutches on lap five.

Bournemouth Pr1mo Kawasaki's James Hillier rode a sensational race to take seventh place ahead of Swan Yamaha's Ian Hutchinson, who was having his first race at the TT since 2010.

Dean Harrison was getting plenty of attention and rightly so as he finished a phenomenal ninth on only his second visit to the TT, with Michael Dunlop completing the first ten.

Dunlop had been due to ride the Hunts Motorcycles/McAdoo Racing Fireblade in the race, but instead went out on his Kawasaki ZX-10 Superstock machine.

Karl Harris finished as the top newcomer on the SMT Honda in 21st position, completing his fastest lap of the event so far at 121mph.

Ryan Farquhar and Michael Rutter were among a string of riders who retired from the race.