Bruce Anstey can’t wait to show Lightweight skills as he confirms Ulster GP spot
The MCE Ulster Grand Prix has received a timely boost with the announcement that ‘Flying Kiwi’ Bruce Anstey is to ride a two-stroke at Dundrod in what will result in a major shake-up in the Lightweight race.
Anstey will compete on a Padgetts RS 250cc Honda in the Lightweight class at the Charles Hurst Motorcycles Dundrod 150 and Plant Lubrication (NI) race, having never ridden a 250cc machine around the 7.4-mile circuit before.
The New Zealander became the fastest 250cc rider ever during the Lightweight Classic TT on the Isle of Man last year and is already looking forward to the Dundrod challenge.
Anstey said: “I started my racing career on a Suzuki RGV250 and I still love racing a 250.
“I won the Classic TT on the Padgetts Honda 250 and the majority of the guys from the Classic are racing at the Ulster, so I cannot wait to get back out there with them again.”
The current 250cc lap record around Dundrod stretches back 11 years to when the late Darran Lindsay lapped at 121.866mph. The big question is, if the weather is favourable, can Anstey come anywhere close to that mark?
Team boss Clive Padgett has also confirmed that Anstey will ride the iconic MotoGP RC213V-S at Dundrod for the second year running.
Anstey added: “I cannot wait to get the RCV out again at Dundrod either, after coming out on top in the Superpole event last year and coming within a quarter of a second of winning a Superbike race.
“The 250cc is a thoroughbred racing bike while the RCV is just an absolute weapon.”
Clerk of the Course Noel Johnston commented: “We are proud to be the only one of the three major international road races to run an Ultra Lightweight and Lightweight class.
“There is a great desire to see and hear the two-strokes from the fans’ perspective. It’s great to see a rider of Bruce’s calibre and track record entering the class as he really enjoys it, and with Clive’s experience the combination will surely be hard to beat.
“I am pleased too that Clive is bringing the RCV back. It’s one of the most famous bikes in the world and a feast for both the eyes and ears. Bruce may have had a rather subdued season to date, but you can never discount him from podium contention.
“He is an incredible competitor, who held our lap record for six years until Ian Hutchinson broke it last year, and I am looking forward to seeing what he brings to the meeting this year.”
Born in Wellington, 48-year-old Anstey made his debut at Dundrod in 2001, and in the years since he has racked up 35 podiums, including 15 wins — 12 during the UGP and three in the Dundrod 150.
Fans can purchase tickets to attend the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix and Charles Hurst Motorcycles Dundrod 150 online via Ticketmaster.
Tickets will also be available to buy on roads approaching the circuit during Bike Week and from the Race Office.