IOMTT: Ian wins seventh TT in 21 years
Ian Lougher celebrated the 21st anniversary of his first TT appearance by winning the Supersport Junior TT in the Isle of Man this afternoon. His victory margin was 22 seconds over Superbike winner John McGuinness with Jason Griffiths in third place.
Lougher had battled for the lead early in the race with Ryan Farquhar, before the latter retired on the third lap of the four lap race. It was Ian’s seventh TT win and race time on his Honda for the 150 miles was 1 hour 14 minutes 52.84 seconds, an average speed of 120.928.
Spectators, watching in bright sunshine around the course, saw one of the closest starts to a race in recent TT history. By the time Ballaugh Bridge was reached on the first lap less than 20 seconds separated the first 15 riders.
There was still little between the leaders at the end of the first lap which saw Ian Lougher just one second ahead of Ryan Farquhar who in turn led John McGuinness by seven seconds. Lougher’s opening lap was timed at 122.397.
The gap was still only a second at the end of lap two but this time it was Farquhar who led from Lougher by precisely 0.63 seconds. McGuinness was 14 seconds down on Lougher. However, Farquhar held his lead for just a few miles before being forced to retire at the Highlander on lap three, putting Lougher back in front with McGuinness second and Richard Britton third.
After a closely contested first two laps the leaders were now starting to pull away, with Lougher opening up a 15 seconds gap over McGuinness at the end of lap three. In turn, McGuinness had a similar time in hand over Britton. Jason Griffiths, Bruce Anstey and Guy Martin were next in line.
The leading two made their way up the mountain, without any problems, but the third podium position changed when Richard Britton retired at Ballaugh, resulting in local man Jason Griffiths taking third spot. Fourth, fifth and sixth were Bruce Anstey, Guy Martin and Raymond Porter.
The race was relatively incident-free. Marc Dufour crashed at the Mountain Box, suffering hand injuries, while Dirk Kaletsch sustained minor injuries in a spill at Ballagarey. Only other incident involved Chris Heath who was off at Guthrie’s but reported to be uninjured.
There were no fewer than 70 finishers – and only 11 retirements - of whom 15 won silver replicas and 29 bronze.