The British manufacturer had not won on the Island for 28 years, however, 34-year-old Bruce Anstey and his Triumph ValMoto Daytona 600 proved to be today's dominant force around the legendary Mountain Course. Anstey finished 10.96 seconds ahead of his nearest rival and recorded the fastest ever Supersport TT race, which he completed in 1:15.13.98.
Anstey's emphatic win is a huge boost to the sport. Triumph's return to racing in the British Supersport Championship has already generated a vast amount of media coverage and attracted support from around the globe. Now, the Hinckley-based factory has the results to match.
TT racing is arguably the ultimate test of a motorcycle's true performance and reliability. In addition, the courage and dedication required by its competitors is beyond comparison in the sporting arena. The Junior TT is arguably the most hotly contested of the nine races that take place during TT race week. It sees highly focussed Supersport race bikes take to the roads for four laps of the 37.73-mile circuit. The world's major manufacturers are all well represented, but at the end of the one and a quarter-hour race, along coastal B roads and through towns where the top speeds can reach 160mph, a British bike had proven its pedigree and supremacy.
"I'm absolutely over the moon," said Anstey. "ValMoto has worked really hard on the Triumph Daytona 600 and everything just went according to plan. Farquhar set off 20 seconds ahead of me but I caught him up fairly quickly. We had bit of scrap but in the end I just let him go knowing that if I could just maintain my pace I'd be on for the win. There was a lot of expectation surrounding this race - especially after I went fastest in practice. I'm just glad that got we the result - and winning it on a Triumph makes it extra special."
Three, Triumph ValMoto Daytona 600s squared up against a field largely populated by Japanese machinery and - in a gruelling race that inevitably sees many bikes retire with mechanical problems - all three finished. Anstey's victory may have been the highlight of the day but the team's two other riders Jim Moodie and John McGuinness made it an exceptional TT by taking ninth and tenth places respectively.
McGuinness made an uncharacteristic error on the first lap of the race and did very well to make it into the top ten. Moodie once more demonstrated the tenacity that has earned him his impeccable reputation at the TT. The 37-year-old Scot battled valiantly through excruciating pain - the legacy of neck injuries sustained during practice earlier in the week - to ensure that Triumph ValMoto also picked up the coveted Junior TT Team Award. The Herculean efforts of Anstey, McGuinness and Moodie meant that the first three riders of any manufacturer home in the quickest time were all aboard Triumphs.
Triumph ValMoto's victory in the TT is of massive significance not only from a historical point of view, but also for the future of British motorcycling and signals Triumph's re-emergence as a racing force to be reckoned with.
For more information:www.triumphvalmoto.com
PHOTO BY Equipe Ajax
PHOTO BY Mac McDiarmid