Classic TT: Bruce Anstey claims ‘there’s more to come’ after stunning lap

Bruce Anstey
Bruce Anstey

Bruce Anstey has warned ‘there’s more to come’ after the New Zealand star overthrew Michael Dunlop at the top of the Classic TT time sheets on Wednesday night.

Anstey, who stole the show at the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix last weekend with a brace in the Superbike and Supersport races, set a new benchmark on the exotic ex-Grand Prix YZR500 Yamaha at 122.523mph ahead of Monday’s Motorsport Merchandise Formula 1 race.

The 45-year-old’s first attempt at completing a lap of the Mountain Course on Monday evening ended at Ramsey before he clocked 114mph on Tuesday, although the awesome two-stroke racer stopped again on his second flying lap at Creg-ny-Baa.

However, on Wednesday night Anstey raised the bar to shoot to the top of the times from Ulsterman Dunlop, who was close behind on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69 at 122.173mph.

The 25-year-old completed one lap and said he had ‘nursed her home’ after encountering some issues, with Anstey also claiming he had plenty more left in the tank this week.

“I’ve got a massive smile. The bike’s handling is pretty good although once the fuel lightens on the second lap it gets a bit lively,” Anstey said.

“We’re just slowly getting it down, playing it safe. The bike was definitely on song tonight though and there’s more to come.”

On a dry evening with a few light showers, English rider James Hillier was third fastest on the Jackson Racing ZXR750 Kawasaki at 119.396mph followed by Russ Mountford (Team York Suzuki XR69) at 119.127mph and Steve Mercer on the Mistral Racing ZXR750 Kawasaki at 118.298mph.

Dungannon’s Ryan Farquhar lapped at a respectable 117.755mph on Roger Winfield’s Harris F1 Yamaha with team-mate Gary Johnson – back in action after his crash in the Superstock TT in June – also lapping in excess of 115mph to throw his hat into the ring for podium contention.

Farquhar, five times a winner in the 500cc class at the Manx Grand Prix, was fast out of the blocks on the Winfield Paton 500 as he climbed to the summit with a speed of 111.102mph, which was narrowly outside Olie Linsdell’s lap record of 111.660mph set on his way to victory in the race last August.

John McGuinness, who joins Farquhar on another of Winfield’s Paton machines, was also right on the pace on his first lap until the 21-time Isle of Man TT winner began to experience problems at Ramsey.Alan Oversby set the second fastest time ahead of Saturday’s Bennetts 500cc race at 107.239mph followed by Michael Rutter on the G50 Seeley (107.067mph), who is standing in for injured Manx rider Dan Kneen.

On a good night for Northern Ireland riders, William Dunlop was quickest in the 350cc class on the Davies Motorsport Honda at 101.271mph.

The Ballymoney man was the only rider in the class to lap in excess of 100mph last night and was followed by veteran Ian Lougher (99.689mph) on the Ripley Land Racing Drixton Honda.

In the F2 class, classic specialist Roy Richardson on the FCL Racing Martin Bullock Manxsport - backed TZ250 topped the board at 110.349mph.

Meanwhile, Michael Moulai was fastest during practice for the Manx Grand Prix in the Senior class at 117.274mph on his 600cc Kawasaki.Scotland’s Andy Lawson, who topped the Senior times on Tuesday at 116.332mph, opted to focus on his Junior machine and lapped at 117.026mph.

Ireland’s Shane Egan was third fastest in the Newcomers A Class at 111.634mph behind Malachi Mitchell-Thomas (112.530mph) and Billy Redmayne (112.416mph.

In the only incident in the evening, Jan Koning escaped unhurt.