DOUGLAS, Isle of Man – Delayed by weather, the final climactic event of the Isle of Man’s Classic TT went off Tuesday August 26, with 45-year-old hard-case New Zealander Bruce Anstey taking the final victory of the week-long meeting in the Formula One race. He was riding a Yamaha YZR500 two-stroke Grand Prix bike from the glory days of 500 GP racing.
Anstey, a successful long-time TT specialist, turned his first lap at a speed of 123.894 mph (199.3 km/h), seriously impressive for a quarter-century-old racing motorcycle. The outright lap record, held by John McGuiness, is 131.7 mph (221 km/h); not a lot of improvement, really, since the mid-1980s.
Anstey’s lap was also the fastest ever recorded on the Island circuit for a two-stroke motorcycle.
While Anstey races for Padgett Honda this year, Padgett’s also has a long history with Yamaha and dusted off this ex-factory bike for him for the Classic week.
The Kiwi said, “”That’s been the best race of the year, and to ride and win on this bike around the course is like a dream come true. It was absolutely perfect and the bike didn’t miss a beat. I was a bit concerned by the strong wind with the bike being so light in case it pushed me wide in the corners but I didn’t have any issues at all. The bike was perfect, the Dunlop tires were perfect and I had a smile on my face the whole way round.”
He was followed home by James Hillier (Greenall Racing Kawasaki) and Russ Mountford (Team York Suzuki Racing/Big Dog Suzuki). Favourite Michael Dunlop retired in the pits at the end of the second lap of the six-lap race.
Nicely done, Mr. Anstey! I loves me some angry 2-stroke.