NW200 Supersport: Anstey takes the win as Seeley and Johnston throw it away

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Bruce Anstey has taken an astonishing win in the opening race of the day at the Vauxhall North West 200, picking up the pieces from third place after a last lap collision between the leading duo of Alastair Seeley and Lee Johnston demoted Thursday night’s race winners to the tarmac.

Gary Johnson had been an early leader in the race, run in damp conditions that left many guessing at tyre choice on the grid, but got demoted back at half distance as Seeley, running on full wets, and Johnston, on intermediates, were able to come through to battle for first place.

The pair swapped the lead numerous times, but as the two entered Metropole on the last lap they made contact not once but twice, before running right into the barriers, leaving Anstey, who had worked his way though to third and led at stages, to take the win.

However, even then Anstey didn’t have it all his own way, with Conor Cummins pushing him hard on the Coast Road before settling for second. Gary Johnson was third, after dropping back from the leaders battle.

Speaking afterwards, Anstey said: “I made a mistake at the Mathers Cross Chicane, and thought that was it for me, but I couldn’t believe it when the two guys in front came off and let me through! Conor pushed hard on the last lap and I was sliding all over the place, but I just managed to hold him off.”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer