New Zealand rider Bruce Anstey has struck a rich vein of form going into the Isle of Man TT motorcycle races.

The former Wellingtonian, now based in London, looks capable of adding to his haul of four titles when the 99th edition of the Isle of Man TT — which twists through narrow roads on the island just off the west coast of England — begin on Saturday.

He is the defending champion in the Superstock category

Anstey, 36, riding for the Irish TAS Suzuki team, climbed the podium four times from five starts at the recent North-West 200 meeting in Northern Ireland, the traditional Isle of Man shakedown on a 13.84km circuit where top speeds reach about 320km/h.

This included a start-to-finish victory in the Supersport race on the new Suzuki GSX-R600 giving Suzuki their first-ever international success in the class as well as race and lap records.

In the two Superbike races he was pipped for first place by 0.3 seconds in race one and in the second, he retired with a rear tyre problem.

Since 2000, Anstey has had 13 podium finishes, and his four TT wins makes him New Zealand’s most successful rider on the famous island course.

His fastest lap at an average speed of 203.61km/h, set last year, is the fifth quickest of all time.

In practice on Saturday, he set the leading Superstock class time of 18 minutes 46.75secs over the 60.72km circuit on his 1000cc Suzuki.

This compares well with current lap record holder John McGuiness who timed 18min 33.23 seconds on his 1000cc Honda in the Superbike class.

McGuiness’ lap record set in 2004 is 17min 43.8 at an average speed of 205.48km/h.

Anstey’s first race is at 1am on Sunday (NZ time) in the Superbike TT.

He will also race in the Superstock TT on Monday, the Supersport TT on Wednesday and the Senior TT on Friday.

Organisers have this year tried to make the treacherous circuit safer but already, three riders are fighting for their lives today after two accidents in practice yesterday.



Speak Your Mind