ANSTEY BATTLES TO FINISH OPENING SUPERBIKE TT RACE
Bruce Anstey and the Valvoline Racing/Padgetts Honda team opened their account at the Isle of Man TT races with a solid eighth place finish in Saturday’s 6-lap Superbike race.
The Kiwi, stiff and sore from a practice spill at Keppel Gate on Thursday evening, bounced bike to pilot the Honda RCV213S to a best lap of 130.789mph which should bode well for the Senior race later in the week.
With ideal conditions on the island, a steady first lap saw Bruce lap at 128.392mph so slot into a slightly unfamiliar position of 12th place. A slower lap second time around, as he battled with his ankle injury from the crash, saw him drop back a place to 13th but from that moment on, he found his rhythm and worked his way up the leaderboard.
A fourth lap of 130.637mph – the first 130mph lap for the machine – elevated Bruce up inside the top ten and into ninth and having consolidated the position on the fifth lap, he saved the best until last and the aforementioned lap of 130.789mph saw him overhaul Gary Johnson on the sixth and final lap to claim a fine eighth place.
Bruce Anstey: “I really struggled today as I’m black and blue and stiff all over but I got the six laps done and the bike’s getting there. It was better than me today and whilst some sections were really good for me, I struggled in others, particularly through the bumpy stuff. I wasn’t sure if I could do the six laps and I was shattered afterwards so to lap at almost 131mph on my final lap was surprising. Like I say the bike was a lot better, especially the suspension, and it never missed a beat. New bits have been arriving all the time and we should be in a good place come the Senior.”
Clive Padgett, Team Owner: “We’re very happy with today’s result and after what he went through on Thursday night with the off at Keppel Gate, Bruce deserves a medal. There were some sections where he could push on but others where he couldn’t and we weren’t entirely sure if Bruce could do the six laps. I don’t think he did either but to get the full race under our belts, a top finish and a near 131mph lap, we’re over the moon. It’s a brand new bike and we’re improving all the time so it bodes well for next Friday’s senior race.”
Bruce will be back in action in Monday’s Supersport and Superstock races where he’ll be joined by team-mate Conor Cummins.
Click thumbnails to preview and download.