A road traffic accident delayed the start of the first Supersport Race of 2012 by more than two hours, and although Michael Dunlop led by 10 seconds at the end of the first lap, the battle for second was red hot with just three seconds covering Gary Johnson, Cameron Donald, William Dunlop and Bruce Anstey.

Dunlop’s lead shot up to 22 seconds at half race distance but he was to retire at Balllig Bridge soon after and suddenly, the tight battle for second became the battle for the win. Johnson was now leading, five seconds clear of William Dunlop but just 0.4 seconds covered second to fourth.

Positions were changing all the time and going into the final lap, Johnson’s lead over new second place rider Anstey was down to 2 seconds, with Donald only a further 0.2 seconds adrift in third. William Dunlop was now 9 seconds back in fourth.

At Ramsey, Johnson still led but the gap between the leading trio was only 0.6 seconds. The drama continued as, little more than a mile from the finish, Johnson ran out of fuel. Donald crossed the line first but as Anstey took the flag he’d edged 0.77 seconds clear of his fellow Honda rider, taking the victory in the second-closest TT finish ever.