Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Ulster Grand Prix: Anstey celebrates being fastest man on planet

Bruce Anstey

New Zealander Bruce Anstey re-wrote the record books during his winning ride in the final Superbike race at the Ulster Grand Prix on Saturday when he took his Relentless Suzuki by TAS around the 7.4mile Dundrod Circuit in three minutes 18.870 seconds — a speed of 133.977mph.

And with it he became the fastest man in the world on the fastest circuit in the world.

On becoming the quickest rider on the planet the quiet, laid back Anstey said: “That really means a lot to me.

“People were saying I was finished as a racer, there wasn’t another win in me, I had lost the speed, the edge had gone off me and all sorts of rumours were flying around.

“It was nice to confine those rumours to the dustbin.

“I never let them affect me and I knew given the right conditions I was still well capable in my own mind of giving the rest of the boy’s a run for there money.

“So it was terrific from that respect to get the win on Saturday plus have the record lap back in my name. People forget I held the lap record back in 2004 although it was nowhere near what the speed is today. It took it to go over 130mph to catch attention.”

Talking about his sensational lap of almost 134mph Bruce said: “I had planned to be in third position going onto the last lap, but my team mate Cameron Donald was between me, Keith Amor and Ian Hutchinson.

“I knew I was faster through the corners than those in front of me and it was a case of biding my time and seizing the opportunities I knew would come.

“Once past Cameron I got great drive up the back section of the circuit, got past Amor and then on the run from Windmill to Wheelers up through Jordans Cross I drove alongside Hutchy and nipped in front going into Wheelers.

“I knew then if I could make it through the Hairpin in first place I wouldn’t be caught.

“It was a terrific feeling taking that chequered flag and I believe I got the biggest cheer of the day.

“I think everybody knew I could still do it.

“It could easily have been a double, as I was well in contention in the first superbike race, but the last lap was real messy with slower riders in groups of two or three and there was a bit of chaos as we all tried to get past them and I just lost out by a tenth to Hutchy.”

This was a real turn around in fortunes for Anstey from the North West and TT and he ex

plained saying: “We really struggled with the set-up at the North West and TT, but Dundrod is so smooth we got the GSX-R1000 dialled in quickly and were on the pace from the first practice sessions thanks to the hard work of the crew.

“I was up for it right from the word go and we proved to everybody what we are capable of.”

Relentless Suzuki and Bruce Anstey the fastest partnership in the world is not a bad title to take into the off-season and as he looks ahead Bruce says: “I’ll be back in 2011, that’s the plan at the moment, to hang onto not only this record, but set a few more along the way.

“But first I’ll bask in the glory of getting back to winning ways.”

Speed kings on two wheels

The history books show the late Barry Sheene lapped the 14k Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium at a speed of 137.15mph back in 1977, but that circuit is not in use any more so Dundrod holds the distinction of being the world’s fastest road race circuit.

In fact two of the three major international road race circuits have the prestige of having lap records in excess of 130mph, Dundrod now with a lap record close to 134mph courtesy of Bruce Anstey and the TT at 131.578mph standing to John McGuinness.

Manxman Conor Cummins took the Dundrod lap record to over 133mph last year in the Dundrod 150 race and now Anstey has taken it a step close to 134mph demonstrating the skill, bravery and daring with which the top international road racers are blessed with.

Tyres, suspension, brakes and electronic wizardry have all come on leaps and bounds as the envelope is pushed further forward, giving riders the opportunity to reach these amazing speeds.

And even in the world of Grand Prix racing the Rossi’s, Lorenzo’s and Capirossi’s never reach lap times close to what was achieved at Dundrod. In fact at Grand Prix level much talk is about achieving 200mph on the straights of man-made ‘car park’ circuits.

On Saturday, Cameron Donald, also on a Relentless Suzuki by TAS, clocked 197mph on a road race circuit through the speed trap on the ‘Flying Kilo.’

Labelled the fastest road race in the world, the Ulster Grand Prix is unrivalled when it produces spectacular, close heart-stopping racing action witnessed on Saturday with the leading riders all in agreement that it is also the best they race on.

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