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2017 Classic TT: Anstey ups Superbike pace; breaks 250 lap record

Bruce Anstey seared round the Isle of Man Mountain Circuit on Wednesday night as he unofficially broke his own 250cc Classic TT record at 118.81mph on his Padgetts Honda RS and lapped at 124.89mph on his Yamaha YZR500.

Incredibly, the New Zealander rolled it off on the smaller bike at Ballaugh because of difficult course conditions. “There were a couple of crashes on the Mountain, the flags were out and the mist was closing in,” Anstey said.

Even so, his effort bettered his last year’s record of 118.74mph, and there are still two practice sessions before Saturday’s Lightweight race. Ballaugh to Ballaugh on the Honda, Anstey missed setting a 120mph time by just 0.46 seconds.


Anstey’s lap on the V4 Yamaha is the fastest of practice week so far, and leaves him leading Dean Harrison, on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki ZXR750, at 123.29mph. The Superbike Classic TT lap record of 126.808mph was set by Michael Dunlop last year on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69.

“The bikes are flying,” team chief Clive Padgett said. “The 500 is basically the same as last year: we just put fresh pistons in it and some other pieces. The bike is awesome - better than it’s ever been.”

The Padgetts team comes fresh from victory in the 250cc race and one of the Superbike races at the Ulster Grand Prix. “Bruce is learning to brake later, lean it over more and give gas sooner,” Padgett joked of his 48-year-old Mountain Circuit superstar.

Michael Dunlop again stopped with technical problems with the big Suzuki, but the Manx weather is looking great for the days ahead, and the Superbikes have three more qualifying sessions before Monday’s race.

Dunlop’s Classic Suzuki team-mate Lee Johnston was reported as another retirement on the opening lap at Kirk Michael where Jamie Coward joined him on his opening lap on the Mistral Racing Kawasaki.

Gary Johnson, Horst Saiger and Dan Kneen all posted their fastest laps of the week while Josh Brookes was also moving his Rotary Norton through the field, posting a 118.59mph which was the eighth fastest lap in the class on the night.

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