ULSTER GP: Anstey in RCV return, confirms 250 debut at Dundrod

Bruce Anstey on the Padgett's RS250 Honda at the Classic TT in 2016.
Bruce Anstey on the Padgett's RS250 Honda at the Classic TT in 2016.

Bruce Anstey will return to the MCE Ulster Grand Prix on the Padgett’s Honda RC213V-S MotoGP bike next month, when the Flying Kiwi will also make his Dundrod debut on a 250cc machine.

Anstey honed his skills in the two-stroke class and is relishing the opportunity to compete in the Lightweight race for the first time on Honda RS250 for Clive Padgett’s team at the world’s fastest road race.

Flying Kiwi Bruce Anstey will again ride the Padgett's Honda RC213V-S at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix in August.

Flying Kiwi Bruce Anstey will again ride the Padgett's Honda RC213V-S at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix in August.

He won the corresponding race on the machine at the Classic TT last summer, when he broke John McGuinness’s 1999 lap record, lapping at 118.774mph.

Anstey will compete in the Charles Hurst Motorcycles Dundrod 150 Lightweight race on Thursday August 10 and the Plant Lubrication (NI) Lightweight race as part of the main Ulster Grand Prix schedule on Saturday, August 12.

Team boss Padgett also confirmed that Anstey will again ride the Honda RCV at Dundrod after he twice finished as the runner-up in the Superbike races in 2016 behind Ian Hutchinson.

Anstey said: “I started my racing career on a Suzuki RGV250 and I still just love racing the 250. I won the Classic TT on the Padgett’s Honda RS250 last year; the majority of the guys from the Classic are racing at the Ulster and I’m looking forward to getting out there with them again.

“I can’t wait to get the RCV out at Dundrod again either, after coming out on top in the Superpole event and almost winning the Superbike last year,” he added.

“Both Clive and I love working with both of these machines: the 250 is a thoroughbred racing bike and the RCV is just an absolute weapon.”

Anstey’s entry in the Lightweight race will be music to the ears of two-stroke aficionados and Ulster GP Clerk of the Course Noel Johnston says the veteran New Zealander will be a tough nut to crack as he returns to his racing roots.

“We’re proud to be the only one of the three international road races to run an Ultra-Lightweight/Lightweight class – there’s still a great desire to see and hear the two-strokes from the fans’ perspective,” said Johnston.

“It’s great to see a rider like Bruce entering this class for no other reason than he really enjoys it. I think it’ll give the race a bit of a shake up, as Bruce’s calibre and track record, combined with Clive Padgett’s experience and machinery, will surely be very hard to beat.

“I’m 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 and the spectators loved it,” he added.

“It’s been a somewhat subdued season for Anstey so far but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s to never, ever discount him for podium contention at the Ulster.

“He’s an incredible competitor who held our lap record for six years until Hutchy broke it in 2016, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he brings to the meeting this year.”

Fans can buy 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 the roads approaching the circuit during Bike Week (August 9-12) and from the race office.