The road racing ace who proves Kiwis really can fly last night confirmed his 10th anniversary appearance at this year’s Relentless North West 200.
Padgetts Honda rider Bruce Anstey jetted in for a North West 200 circuit recce as more details of the May 12-19 Race Week were announced.
But New ZealanderAnstey, who celebrates his 43rd birthday in April, needed little introduction to the north coast venue.
Anstey made an immediate impact on the North West 200 and its fans during his debut year back in 2002, taking pole position and a comprehensive race victory in the Superstock class, from two men sadly no longer with us — David Jefferies and local man Gary Jess.
Anstey has since gone on to accumulate nine wins at the North West 200 from a staggering 20 podium visits, and despite not having tasted victory bubbly since his memorable treble with TAS Suzuki back in 2007, the softly spoken Windsor-based Kiwi still has plenty to offer.
Bruce will be joined in the Padgetts Honda team at this year’s North West by 15 time TT winner John McGuinness, himself a five-time victor at the Triangle, with Lincolnshire’s hard charger Gary Johnson making it a formidable line-up for Batley based outfit.
Also confirmed and making his North West 200 debut is British Supersport rider Dan Cooper from Gloucestershire.
The 24-year-old has two Isle of Man TT appearances under his belt and is keen to further develop his road racing skills, as he explained: “I came over to watch
the North West 200 a few years ago and was blown away by the buzz and excitement, so I can’t wait to join my heroes John McGuinness and Michael Rutter.”
Cooper will compete in the McKendry Fabrications and Ballymoney Borough Council Supersport races for the Hampshire Motorcycle Team.
A renewed TV deal with BBC NI will see live coverage and highlights go out locally and around the world throughout Race Week.
BBC Sports Editor Shane Glynn, said: “Last year Race Director Mervyn Whyte and his colleagues had no luck whatsoever with the weather and other factors they just couldn't have legislated for.
“So it’s fingers crossed for a fuller day's racing this year on Saturday, May 19.
“The additional two races on the Thursday night, and the two daytime practice sessions on Tuesday and Thursday, will present us and our colleagues at Greenlight TV with new challenges.
“We'll be showing the two new races live via our website, and highlights on an extended Friday night preview programme on BBC1 NI which will come live from the paddock.
“These highlights will also feature in our two one hour highlights programmes that will be shown on Sunday, May 20 and Monday, May 21.”