Bruce Anstey took one of the most popular wins ever seen on the Mountain Course on Saturday evening when he took a fairytale victory in the Lightweight Classic TT.
On his comeback from illness, Anstey was never headed on the Milenco by Padgetts Motorcycles Honda and he won his third Lightweight Classic TT race by 1m10s from team-mate Davey Todd with 19-year old James Hind putting in a stunning ride on the Dennis Trollope Yamaha as he fought back from a thirty second pit lane penalty to take third.
Anstey hit the front from the outset and led at Glen Helen on the first lap by 5.1s with Hind in second and Todd in third only 0.4s adrift. Daniel Sayle, Ian Lougher and Charles Rhys Hardisty completed the top six ahead of Dominic Herbertson, Jamie Coward, Gary Vines and Lee Johnston.
By Ramsey, Anstey had more than doubled his lead over Hind with his advantage now up 11.5s but Hind had edged away from Todd with the gap between the pair now 2.6s. Lougher was up to fourth with Herbertson and Coward pushing Sayle back to seventh.
With an opening lap of 117.05mph, Anstey’s lead had increased to 17.6s as he pitted for fuel but Hind, in just his second year of competition on the Mountain Course, was riding superbly with a lap of 115.30mph. He was now 6.3s ahead of Todd with Lougher still in fourth ahead of Herbertson and Coward but Danish rider Carsten Svendsen, who had lapped at more than 110mph in practice was a retirement at Ballig.
Anstey had a superb pit stop and when he headed back onto Glencrutchery Road, he was now leading on the road as he nipped ahead of Todd but there was drama for Hind as his team couldn’t get the fuel cap in and as he rejoined the race he was hit with a 30-second penalty for speeding in pit lane.
By Glen Helen on lap two, Anstey’s lead had shot up to a commanding 41.7s and it was Todd and Lougher now occupying the podium positions as Hind’s penalty dropped him all the way back down to ninth. Coward, Herbertson and Sayle slotted into fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.
Through Ramsey second time around, Anstey added another ten seconds to his lead, the gap up to 51.2s and Lougher was now 13.4s further back in third. Fourth to sixth remained the same with Hind fighting his way back up to seventh.
Going into the final lap, 13-time TT winner Anstey led Todd by almost a minute and although Lougher still held onto third all eyes were on the charging Hind as he’d now moved up to sixth and was only 9.5s behind the Welshman, Coward and Herbertson sandwiched in between them in fourth and fifth. Meanwhile, last year’s winner Johnston pulled in to retire at the end of the second lap.
At the head of the field, Anstey swept round Glen Helen for the final time with his lead over Todd hovering around the minute mark and Hind had closed to within 6.7s of Lougher as he moved up to fourth. That gap had been halved by the time they jumped Ballaugh Bridge and, indeed, he’d taken over third position by the time he reached Ramsey as his heroic ride continued.
A final lap of 116.16mph saw Anstey take the memorable win by 1m10s from Todd and Hind’s final lap of 116.60mph saw him only miss out on second by nine and a half seconds although third was still a brilliant result for the Lincolnshire rider.
Lougher had to settle for fourth ahead of Coward and Hardisty with Sayle – making his own return from serious injury suffered in the race last year – Vines, Phil Harvey and Steven Howard completing the top ten.
Dunlop Lightweight TT race result - conditions dry
1 5 Bruce Anstey Honda / Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles 58:47.539 115.515 Silver
2 1 Davey Todd Honda / Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles 59:57.784 113.260 Silver
3 9 James Hind Yamaha 01:00:07.307 112.961 Silver
4 3 Ian Lougher Yamaha / Laylaw Racing 01:00:17.699 112.636 Silver
5 8 Jamie Coward Yamaha / Binch Racing 01:00:34.399 112.119 Silver
6 18 Charles Rhys Hardisty Yamaha / Kaymac / Willson and Widling 01:00:55.338 111.476 Silver
7 10 Daniel Sayle Honda / John Chapman Racing 01:01:00.202 111.328 Silver
8 7 Gary Vines Yamaha / Binch Racing 01:01:25.447 110.566 Silver
9 12 Phil Harvey Yamaha / LayLaw Racing 01:03:59.055 106.142 Bronze
10 29 Steven Howard Yamaha / Howard Racing 01:04:12.301 105.777 Bronze
12 19 John Barton Ducati / Wemoto.com 01:04:43.486 104.927 Bronze
13 24 Alex Sinclair Ducati / Louigi Moto 01:04:51.589 104.709 Bronze
14 42 James Ford Honda / Rainford Models / Speedycom 01:05:01.660 104.439 Bronze
15 35 Richard Lambourne Yamaha 250 / Stu Jones Motorcycles 01:06:21.961 102.332
16 49 Christopher Dowling Yamaha / HS Racing 01:06:39.280 101.889
17 31 Hefyn Owen Ducati / Sean White 01:06:49.724 101.624
18 54 Mike Carter Honda / Dynopro Racing 01:07:19.352 100.879
19 43 Will Loder Yamaha / CKS Precision 01:07:29.982 100.614
20 30 Adrian Morris Yamaha / Adrian Morris Racing 01:07:33.491 100.527
21 56 Lee Jennings Ducati / Hammer and Tongs Performance, 01:08:53.382 98.584
22 27 David Madsen-Mygdal Honda / RJP Racing 01:09:48.837 97.279
23 47 Andrew Cowie Kawasaki / Regaby Racing 01:10:12.810 96.725
24 57 Jason Burrill* Yamaha 01:12:56.419 93.109