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McGuinness doubles up with Senior glory

Fri, 10 Jun 2011

After wet weather delays, including hailstones at the Gooseneck, the Senior TT finally got underway at 5.15pm in near perfect conditions.

John McGuinness made the most of it, doubling up on Saturday’s Superbike TT for the TT Legends Honda team with a 17th win.

TAS Suzuki’s Guy Martin led by just 0.31 at Glen Helen on the opening lap, with Gary Johnson just 0.34 ahead of Padgetts Honda rider Bruce Anstey in third and McGuinness fourth, only 1.29 off the lead.

Martin was setting an incredible pace, just seconds off the outright lap record from a standing start by Ramsey, to lead Anstey by 3.05 seconds as Johnson’s Honda dropped to third.

Martin completed the lap just 3.8 seconds outside the lap record at 131.038mph as both Anstey and McGuinness went over 130 too, though both Adrian Archibald and Ian Lougher retired in the pits

Anstey hit back on the second lap, reducing Martin’s lead to four seconds by Ramsey, as the top three broke away from the chasing pack, with Johnson fourth, then Street Sweep Kawasaki’s Michael Dunlop next and McGuiness’s team-mate Keith Amor sixth.

The opening pitstops brought the race still closer together, McGuinness stopping in 52.277 seconds, two and a half seconds faster than Anstey and a further second up on race leader Martin, to leave the three riders separated by just 2.5 seconds heading out onto lap three.

As the times shook out at Glen Helen, Martin’s lead was confirmed as reduced to 2.38 seconds, now to McGuinness, with Anstey another 2.4 back, then Dunlop over 30 seconds off the lead.

The lead was slashed again at Ballaugh to 0.9 seconds as a real duel took place on the roads, with the eventual winner grabbing a 0.05 second advantage in Ramsey, and Anstey closing to 2 seconds as well.

At the completion of the lap, mid distance in the race, an absolute TT classic was developing, McGuinness 2.56 seconds clear of Martin, and Anstey 2.9 back.

Such was the pace of the top three there was then a gap of almost 40 seconds back to Michael Dunlop, involved in his own race with Keith Amor and Cameron Donald ahead of yesterday’s winner Gary Johnson. Connor Cummins retired in the pits with rear suspension failure.

They started to encounter later starters at the beginning of lap four, McGuinness coming out best, extending the lead to 4.26 seconds, and Anstey a further 3.2 back at Glen Helen.

An overshoot at Ballacraine cost Dunlop time, but McGuiness was on lap record schedule at Ramsey, upping the lead to 9.42 seconds, with Anstey closing in on Martin.

The lap was completed in 17:14.89, just outside the record, but the TT Legends team worked wonders in the second fuel stop to take the lead over 12 seconds, with Anstey’s slower stop handing second spot back to Martin.

Keith Amor held fourth, ahead of Donald and Dunlop, though Donald got back past by Ramsey on the penultimate lap.

Up front, heading out onto the final lap of TT 2011, McGuinness was 13.24 seconds out front, with Anstey a further three seconds back.

McGuinness duly completed the race with a fourth lap out of six of over 130mph, breaking the race record despite easing off to take victory over Martin by 7.2 seconds, with Anstey 8.5 seconds back in third. Donald finally got the better of a race long battle with Amor, and Dunlop rounding out the top six.

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