Ulster GP: Anstey Breaks Road Race Record


Motorcycle Racing Milestones

Isle of Man TT winner Bruce Anstey has made history by becoming the fastest road racer on Earth.

The Kiwi, riding the Relentless by TAS Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike, averaged an amazing 133.977mph in the last race of the day at the Ulster Grand Prix on Saturday.

The record-breaking lap was the icing on the cake as Anstey took the Superbike victory around the 7.401-mile Dundrod circuit. It was the 12th Ulster GP victory for the TAS team.

Bruce Anstey says: “I said before today that our bikes were very competitive and while I missed out in the cat and mouse game for victory in the opening Superbike race, I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice.”

“Granted, there wasn’t much in it between the top four or five guys today, but ultimately we proved that the GSX-R1000 in Relentless Suzuki trim is not only the best, but the fastest road racing Superbike on the planet.”

“A big thank you to all the boys in the team today for a big effort – they work hard all year and it’s nice to give them something to boast about at the end of a tough season.”

The 41-year-old was unfortunate not to have also taken the opening Superbike race win in a six-lap thriller that involved up to six riders. In his usual succinct manner, he suggested afterwards during a radio interview that backmarkers probably blighted his cause at the Lindsay Hairpin on the final circuit.

Teammate Cameron Donald overcame a mid-week medical for a viral infection and fought bravely in all races.

After a mediocre start to the day in the Superstock encounter, finishing 11th, the Cookstown-based Australian got himself in the thick of the action in both Superbike races.

In the opening Superbike race he overshot at Cochranestown, losing out on the opportunity of a podium return to Dundrod. However, in race two his lap times were only bettered by his world record-breaking team-mate and those who flanked him on the podium. Donald eventually finished fourth with a best lap of 133.401mph.

Cameron Donald says: “A tough day at the office it really was today. My Superbike was working great and I really thought I had a win on the cards in the grand final. I ended up lapping inside the old lap record, so I have to take the positives from a good final race.”

“Big congratulations to Bruce for taking the win and bettering my new lap record which only lasted for a lap!”

Philip Neill (TAS Team Manager Philip Neill says: “Fair play to both guys today. We have never hidden the fact that it’s taken them both a bit of time to find their best form this season, for one reason or another, but as a team we are extremely pleased with our season. Cameron overshot in the opening Superbike race and Bruce was a tad misfortunate and we lost out. But in the final Superbike race – the one the fans all remember – we had two GSX-R1000s right in the mix for honours, and this is testament to the quality of our machinery.”

“What can you say about Bruce Anstey? We have used all the superlatives before. The bottom line is this: when he wants to prove a point, and I don’t say this lightly – he is the best road racer in the world. To produce a performance like that, not having raced since the TT in June is mind-boggling.”

“Cameron dug deep today while suffering the effects of a viral infection and I’m pleased with his efforts. He was there-or-there-abouts in both Superbike races and in places was quicker than his rivals; he can’t be faulted for giving it his best shot.”

“It has been a good season for us in general so far. We have had two BSB wins; we dominated at the North West 200 with Alastair Seeley and although two podiums at the TT is a little short of what we have come to expect, we have ended the international road racing season on a high note here at the Ulster Grand Prix.”

“I’m more pleased today for the boys in the team as they were pretty deflated after the TT. People don’t see it, but they work very hard behind the scenes and today is for them and of course our sponsors. Loyal people like Suzuki, Relentless and the likes of Ian Glenn from Beacon and everyone else who continues to support us.”

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One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007 and is currently Editor at Large at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of 365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).