Flying Kiwi Bruce Anstey will ride the exotic Valvoline Padgett’s Honda RC213V-S MotoGP replica at next month’s MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix.
The popular New Zealander grabbed the headlines when he opted to ride the trick machine at the Isle of Man TT, although a crash during practice at Keppel Gate had a detrimental impact on Anstey’s chances of challenging for the podium in the RST Superbike and PokerStars Senior races.
His remarkable record of finishing on the rostrum at each of the ‘big three’ international road races at least once every year since 2002 ended at the North West 200 in May, while Anstey also failed to score a top three result at the TT.
The unassuming 46-year-old will be doubly determined to set the record straight at Dundrod, where Anstey remains the outright lap record-holder after his stunning 133.977mph feat six years ago in 2010, which ensures the Ulster Grand Prix remains the fastest road race in the world.
Anstey, who will ride the RCV in the Dundrod 150 Superbike race on Thursday, August 11 in addition to both premier races on the main UGP schedule on Saturday, August 11, said he was eager to ‘do the bike justice’ in the wake of his TT setback.
“I’m really pleased that we’re able to bring the RCV to Dundrod and that I’ll get another run out on it before the season ends. Everyone has been asking Clive about whether it’s going to be there or not, there’s a lot of interest in it and now we can confirm it,” Anstey said.
“I think the bike will go down really well at the Ulster and I’m looking forward to setting off down the Flying Kilo. It’s fantastic to ride and should handle the fast, flowing corners of the circuit with ease.
“I’m looking forward to riding the RCV at full fitness too,” he added. “I got a bit knocked about and bruised with my off at the TT so this is my chance to get out there and do the bike justice.”
Clerk of the Course Noel Johnston said Anstey and the awesome RCV will be a huge draw at Dundrod, where he has clinched the spoils in the Superbike class three times in the past five years.
“The RCV is probably the most famous bike in the world at the moment, one that Bruce has described recently as an absolute weapon, with superb power yet pretty nimble and compact,” Johnston said.
“This is going to be sensational – a real treat for the spectators and it’s something I’m personally really excited about seeing.
“I’ve spoken at length with Clive Padgett about getting the bike to Dundrod and it seems that Bruce and the team were just as keen as we were to make it happen.
“The world’s fastest road racer riding this stand-out bike is going to be another big draw for fans who will definitely be excited to see and hear the RCV lapping the 7.4-m circuit,” he added.
“I’m particularly looking forward to seeing what he can do on it now that he’s recovered from the bruising he got at the TT.
“He’s won the Superbike race three times in the last five years, so let’s see if he can do it on the RCV.”
Expectations are high for a 134mph lap this year at Dundrod, with TT rivals Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson set to go head-to-head along with Anstey and a host of road racing A-listers.
Dunlop almost cracked the 134mph bracket around the Mountain Course and with the record almost certain to fall again next June, the UGP organisers will be hoping the current benchmark is raised well beyond 134mph next month to cement the Prix’s status as the ‘World’s Fastest Road Race’.