BIKES: Bruce Anstey ups tempo with practice brace

Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts Honda RS250 last night
Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts Honda RS250 last night

Flying Kiwi Bruce Anstey underpinned his current run of hot form as he topped the times last night in the Superbike and Lightweight classes at the Classic TT.

Anstey unofficially set the fastest ever 250cc lap around the Mountain Course at 118.812mph on the Padgetts Honda (19m 03.218s), which was inside his own lap record of 118.744mph set in last year’s corresponding race.

The 48-year-old, who won the blue riband Superbike race on the Padgetts Honda RCV213V-S at the Ulster Grand Prix earlier this month, posted the lap from a standing start.

Anstey also appeared to be on course for a lap of 120mph on his flying lap before encountering slower traffic.

After a lacklustre season by his his own standards, Anstey has hit a rich vein of form since the Ulster GP at Dundrod and seems determined to round off 2017 on a high.

Once again, he headed the times in the Motorsport Merchandise Classic Superbike TT session on the Padgetts Yamaha YZR500 at 124.88mph to set the fastest lap of the week so far.

Michael Dunlop, who has won the race for the past two years, retired at Ballacraine on his opening lap for the second night in a row on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69.

Dunlop’s team-mate Lee Johnston was reported as another retirement on the opening lap at Kirk Michael.

Anstey pulled in at the end of his opening Superbike lap on the GP Yamaha, which was merely a precursor to his stunning effort in the Lightweight class.

Bradford’s Dean Harrison with a 123.288mph lap on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki and Aussie David Johnson (121.86mph) on the Team York Suzuki were also on the pace.

Gary Johnson, Horst Saiger and Dan Kneen all posted their fastest laps of the week while Josh Brookes was also on the pace his Rotary Norton, clocking a 118.59mph lap, which was the eighth fastest lap in the class on the night.

Dunlop made it back to the Grandstand after his earlier retirement and managed to get out on his Turner Racing Yamaha TZ250 before the end of the combined Superbike/Lightweight session, clocking a lap of 112.13mph.

Manxman Dan Sayle (115.5mph) on the Steelcote Solutions Yamaha, Michael Rutter (112.87mph) on the Red Fox Grinta Racing Ducati, Ivan Lintin (112.69mph) and Ian Lougher on the Laylaw Racing Yamaha (112.46mph) all posted impressive speeds.

In the Senior class, Josh Brookes (Team Winfield Paton) was the clear leader on the night with the two fastest laps: his quickest at 109.509mph was over 40 seconds faster than William Dunlop (105.858mph) on the Davies Motorsport Honda.

In the concurrent Junior class, Alan Oversby on the Davies Motorsport Honda set the first 100mph Junior lap of the meeting to top the qualifying board from Lee Johnston (99.612mph) on the Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta.

In the Manx Grand Prix sessions, Ballymoney’s Darryl Tweed was fastest at 112.85mph in the Newcomers A class on his Triumph.