Classic TT: Bruce Anstey to ride ex-works YZR500 Yamaha

Bruce Anstey
Bruce Anstey

Kiwi Bruce Anstey will ride one of the most exotic machines ever raced around the Mountain Course when he bids for glory at the Classic TT in August on an ex-factory YZR500 Yamaha.

The 44-year-old - who holds the outright lap record at the TT with a speed in excess of 132mph - will ride the former works machine in the Valvoline Padgett’s Racing colours in the Formula 1 race.

The 150bhp two-stroke Yamaha, which weighs around 55kg less than a modern Superbike, is identical to the bikes raced in the 500cc Grand Prix World Championship by past greats including Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson, John Kocinski, Niall Mackenzie and Randy Mamola.

Team manager Clive Padgett said: “We are delighted to be able to support the Classic TT and are looking forward to getting back to the Isle of Man later in the year off the back of another successful TT.

“To be able to come with something as spectacular as the YZR500 Yamaha has got the whole team motivated including Bruce who, as most race fans will know, made his name on two-stroke machinery. The Classic TT was a massive success in its first year and we really want to be part of it going forward.”

Padgett’s Racing has previously fielded 500cc two-strokes around the Mountain Course, with Jim Moodie finishing second in the 1997 Senior race on a 500cc V-Twin NSR Honda. Nigel Davies also took a Harris-framed YZR500 Yamaha to sixth place in the 1998 Senior TT.

Ian Lougher set the fastest two-stroke lap around the course at 122.93mph on a 500cc V-Twin NSR Honda in the 1999 Senior TT.

The Motorsport Merchandise Formula 1 TT Race takes place on Monday, August 25. The 2014 Classic TT presented by Bennetts also includes the Bennetts 500cc Race and Okells 350cc Race.

This year, Ulster’s Joey Dunlop – still the most successful TT rider ever with 26 wins – will be honoured by special parade lap featuring many of his former rivals.

The Classic TT takes place from August 22-25.