STRONG SUPERSPORT RACE FOR PADGETTS PAIR
The Valvoline Racing by Padgetts Honda team enjoyed an excellent day of racing at the Isle of Man TT Races on Wednesday afternoon with Bruce Anstey and Conor Cummins finishing fifth and seventh in the second four-lap Supersport race.
Swirling sea mist led to the race being delayed by two hours but Bruce and Conor were in the midst of the action from the start and with the pair both lapping at more than 125mph, they slotted into fourth and fifth respectively at the end of the opening lap.
Although the podium positions were just out of reach on the day, conditions were improving all the time and soon the sun was beating down again as the duo found themselves in a four-way battle for fourth.
Second time around, the pair increased their pace with laps in excess of 126mph as they remained in fourth and fifth but with James Hillier and Lee Johnston breathing down their necks, just over ten seconds covered the quartet at half race distance.
Two excellent pit stops by the team saw them hold station on the penultimate lap but Hillier began his charge and with his best ever lap on a 600, he took fourth position at the chequered flag with Bruce holding onto fifth, just 1.3s behind after 150 miles of racing.
Cummins was overhauled by Johnston and had to settle for seventh but it ensured he finished all three of his races for the team inside the top eight to round out an excellent week with the team.
Bruce Anstey: “That wasn’t too bad today and I’m slowly getting my confidence back. I made a good start and briefly threatened the podium positions but I ran out of steam a bit on the third lap just as Hillier was quickening his pace. It was nice to be fighting for a podium position again though and I’m feeling stronger with each day. The bike was working well and the conditions all round the course were good so a big thanks to Clive and the team again.”
Conor Cummins: “Having ran in fifth place for so long, to slip back to seventh is a little bit frustrating and slowing for yellow flags at Kirk Michael lost me quite a bit of time but safety always has to come first. When Dean (Harrison) came by, he actually held me up a bit but as he was in third place and in his own race, I just sat behind him. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time riding the Valvoline/Padgetts bikes this week and none of them have missed a beat. The whole Padgetts team have been great to work with and couldn’t have done enough for me.”
Clive Padgett, Team Owner: “I’m chuffed to bits with today’s results and it’s great to see the smile back on Bruce’s face. He’s had a tough couple of days but it getting stronger all the time so we’re quietly confident for the Senior. Like I say, racing means a lot to us but having the boys home safely is more important! Conor’s had three excellent rides for us and has gone quicker than he’s ever gone before on Superstock and Supersport bikes and he’s been a joy to work with.”
There’s just one race left now for the team with Anstey campaigning the Honda RCV213S in Friday’s 6-lap Senior race.
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