Isle of Man TT: Cameron Donald takes first victory in Superbike race

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Cameron Donald has won his first Isle of Man TT superbike race this afternoon and taken the superbike race record along the way.

The Australian beat New Zealander Bruce Anstey by 10.77seconds at the end of the six lap race around the 37.73 mile circuit to make it a one-two for the Relentless TAS Suzuki team.

Donald beat John McGuiness’ previous race record with the time now standing at 1 hour 47 mins 5.89 secs and also became the first person to take the opening superbike race crown away from Pedgetts Honda rider McGuinness since 2003.

The superbike lap record was also broken twice during the race with Guy Martin storming around the course at 129.103mph at the end of lap one, but the Hydrex Bike Animal Honda rider, who had looked certain for victory, then beat this on lap two with 129.540mph.

There was plenty of drama in the Isle of Man TT opening superbike race from the start with Martin starting the race nine seconds late after some confusion at the starting point seeing several riders only just making their slots.

The next shock of the race was John McGuinness retiring at Glen Helen on lap two from second place. The Padgetts Honda rider told course commentators he’d experienced a misfire on the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade and so pulled over for safety. He tried to get going again but finally gave up at the Sulby crossroads.

Back in the race Guy Martin was building up a steady lead and pulled out a 8.9sec lead from second placed Cameron Donald by the end of lap two.

With the first round of pit stops over going into lap three, Martin was 11.07 seconds ahead of Donald at Glen Helen, whilst Bruce Anstey was placed securely in third.

Ian Hutchinson, who had been lying fifth, was next to retire. He stopped at Glen Helen and tried to get going again, but the engine on his Yamaha R1 finally gave out at Union Mills.

Martin’s lead continued to build going into lap four and he now led Donald by 10.28secs.

But lap four saw Martin’s luck run out, having also failed to finish at the North West 200 earlier this month, the gremlins were out again and he stopped at Sulby Village which meant Cameron Donald now lead on the Suzuki GSX-R1000 ahead of team-mate Bruce Anstey.

And as the race continued, the course was taking its toll on more riders including Connor Cummins who was forced to retire from fifth place at Keppel Gate, which is between the Bungalow and Cronk ny Mona.

On lap six at the first time point at Glen Helen Anstey was past Donald on the road, but the times revealed it was still the Aussie who was in the lead with Adrian Archibald now third. And with Donald back past his team-mate by Ramsey Hairpin, he’d done enough to take the victory at his third Isle of Man TT.

Even though he couldn’t quite get the better of his team-mate, Anstey did manage to be recorded as the fastest man through the Sulby Speedtrap at 192.300mph on the final lap.

After the race winner Cameron Donald said: “It’s unbelievable, it’s quite a surreal experience. Bruce Anstey passed me but he was good enough to let me through.

“Thanks to Taz it’s a great bike. The course conditions were good. I’m used to racing in Australia and Asia to the hotter the better for me.”

Lap watch

Lap one:

Guy Martin, John McGuinness, Cameron Donald, Bruce Anstey, Ian Hutchinson, Ryan Farquhar

Lap two:

Guy Martin, Cameron Donald, Bruce Anstey, Ryan Farquhar, Ian Hutchinson, Connor Cummins

Lap three:

Guy Martin, Cameron Donald, Bruce Anstey, Adrian Archibald, Connor Cummins, Connor Cummins, Ryan Farquhar

Lap four:

Cameron Donald, Bruce Anstey, Adrian Archibald, Gary Johnson, Ryan Farquhar, Ian Lougher

Lap five:

Cameron Donald, Bruce Anstey, Adrian Archibald, Gary Johnson, Ryan Farquhar, Ian Lougher

Lap six:

Cameron Donald, Bruce Anstey, Adrian Archibald, Gary Johnson, Ian Lougher, Ryan Farquhar

Sarah Carnell

By Sarah Carnell