By TT reporter
June 7 2008
Less than three hours after finishing what he thought was in an excellent second place, Lincolnshire’s Steve Plater was awarded the win in the first Relentless Supersport race after original race winner Bruce Anstey was sensationally disqualified from the race results.
Anstey had dominated proceedings on his Relentless by TAS Suzuki to ‘win’ by over 20 seconds, but the exhaust cam measurement was found to be illegal to that what was homologated and, in scenes reminiscent of 2006 when Ian Hutchinson was excluded from the runners up spot, the Kiwi was taken off the results sheet and the win awarded to Plater.
Thus, the AIM Racing Yamaha rider, the best newcomer of 2007, took a fairytale first ever TT win by 3.39 seconds, with John McGuinness and Keith Amor giving Honda second and third spot on the podium.
With the morning mist having cleared, conditions were perfect for racing, but there was drama almost as soon as the race had begun with Guy Martin again out of luck - the Hydrex Bike Animal Honda rider reported as having pulled in at the Highlander. This mattered little to Anstey though, and at Glen Helen he was 1.7 seconds to the good, with Ian Hutchinson going well in second ahead of McGuinness, Ryan Farquhar, Amor and Ian Lougher. Morning race winner Cameron Donald was down the order in 12th, but Anstey was charging ahead and he ended the lap a stunning 12 seconds clear. A flying Amor relegated McGuinness to third with Farquhar, Hutchinson and Lougher filling the top six places.
Anstey was in a class of his own at the front of the field and it showed on the second lap as he broke Martin’s year old lap record with a speed of 125.372mph to extend his lead even further. Ahead of McGuinness on the road, the 38-year-old had the race sewn up and he duly completed the four laps for what he though was his seventh TT win.
All eyes subsequently fell on the battle for second, with Amor and McGuinness exchanging places on a number of occasions before the 13-times winner edged ahead. However, the Morecambe man was suffering from a broken steering damper, and no sooner had he seen off the challenge of Amor, then he had to keep an eye on Plater. With oil on his visor and screen, McGuinness was almost powerless to respond and Plater, seventh on the first lap, turned a 10 second deficit into a 3.39 second advantage at the chequered flag. Team-mate Hutchinson’s bad luck continued with a second lap retirement, whilst there was also disappointment once more for Conor Cummins who retired at Windy Corner on the third lap whilst in seventh.
Plater was delighted with second but this later became a win at just his second attempt at the TT, and everyone else was shuffled up the order as a consequence of Anstey’s dramatic exclusion. Scotland’s Amor dropped back on the final lap for fourth but this became third for his first ever podium, although events meant he didn’t get the opportunity to take his place on the rostrum. Ryan Farquhar and Ian Lougher weren’t too far behind in fourth and fifth, whilst Gary Johnson had another strong ride into sixth ahead of Mark Parrett, Mats Nilsson, a somewhat lowly Donald, Michael Dunlop, Chris Palmer and Adrian Archibald.
James Hillier and Jamie Robinson had great débuts, finishing 19th and 20th respectively, both lapping above 118mph, whilst fellow newcomer Alessio Corradi also rode well into 37th.
Roger Maher was reported as OK after an incident at Governors Bridge.
SUPERSPORT TT result:
DQ Bruce Anstey, 1 hour 13 minutes 39.80 seconds (122.927mph)
1 Steve Plater, 1.14.01.07 (122.338mph)
2 John McGuinness, 1.14.04.46 (122.245mph)
3 Keith Amor, 188.8.131.52 (122.030mph)
4 Ryan Farquhar, 184.108.40.206 (121.976mph)
5 Ian Lougher, 220.127.116.11 (121.942mph)
6 Gary Johnson, 18.104.22.168 (120.981mph)
7 Mark Parrett, 22.214.171.124 (120.020mph)
8 Mats Nilsson, 126.96.36.199 (119.879mph)
9 Cameron Donald, 188.8.131.52 (119.853mph)