Bruce Anstey has taken the wraps off his new-look Padgett’s Honda machines to unveil a major new title sponsor in oil giant Valvoline for 2014.
The ‘Flying Kiwi’ is entering his fourth season in Clive Padgett’s famous team and will again by joined by 20-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness, who will compete in the Supersport and Superstock classes for the Batley-based outfit.
Anstey is chasing his tenth victory at the Vauxhall International North West 200 next month and lays claim to a remarkable record at the international road races, finishing on the rostrum at least once at the north coast meeting plus the Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix for the past 11 seasons.
The gifted New Zealander celebrates his 45th birthday this year but is still a serious contender in every class and shows no signs of a career on the wane, recording the second fastest TT lap of all time behind record holder McGuinness at 131.531mph on his way to third place in the 2013 Senior.
Anstey has yet to win an international race for Padgett’s Racing but boasts a stunning pedigree at the North West and is looking forward to his return in May.
“I won as a newcomer at the North West back in 2002 and I have always loved coming back,” Anstey said. “Racing there is all about getting into the right place at the right time and not getting caught out on the coast road.
“The Honda won’t be the fastest bike out there in the Superbike class and that makes it harder to win races at the North West where speed is so important on the straights but we will be in there,” he added.
“Alastair Seeley will be hard to beat as usual and there are loads of other people who are capable of winning. We just need some sunshine this year and there will be plenty of close racing and a great atmosphere.
“The weather has made things difficult the last few years but I don’t mind the rain; it kinda evens everything out a bit.”
Team boss Padgett added: “Bruce is brilliant: he just turns up and goes fast everywhere. It’s great to have two riders like John and Bruce in our team.
“We see ourselves as a ‘mates racing team’ and this deal with Valvoline will ensure we are able to keep doing what we do.”
Anstey will join Glen Richards at the first two rounds of the National Superstock Championship at Brands Hatch and Oulton Park as he warms up for the North West 200 on May 17.