Laidback Anstey ready to rule on RCV
Bruce Anstey is famously the most laidback rider in the paddock, who emerges from a winter of hibernation and is immediately on race pace.
The Honda test at Castle Combe was the Kiwi’s first serious outing of the season and true to form, Anstey was lapping as fast as ever on the Padgett’s Hondas. What did he do all winter? “Nothing” is his deadpan reply. So what’s his secret? Anstey reveals: “I’m just 25 going on 48.”
On April 24, the 10-times TT winner will celebrate his 48th birthday, the same age Joey Dunlop was when he won the Formula One TT in 2000.
“Joey won when he was 48 and I can too,” Anstey smiles. “I’m not finished yet.”
Completely unfazed by not having thrown his leg over the 2017 spec Fireblade yet as Honda struggle to make enough of their new superbikes available to race teams, the quiet man of racing tested a 2016 spec stocker and a CBR600RR Supersport Honda at Castle Combe.
Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson may have been riding themselves dizzy in Spain doing laps on their new superbikes while Guy Martin grabs all the headlines on his comeback to TT racing, but the 2015 Superbike TT winner is unperturbed.
“I’m just staying under the radar and that is good for me,” he smiles.
Anstey will once again have the world’s most exotic road bike beneath him at this year’s TT. Clive Padgett stunned the event last year when he rolled a race-modded RC213V-S Honda on to the Glencrutchery Road.
“The RCV suits my style,” Anstey says. “It is lighter, easier to ride and I can carry more corner speed.”
Anstey won’t ride the RCV until North West 200 practice as the bike was too noisy for Castle Combe’s noise restrictions, but the former TT and Ulster Grand Prix lap recordholder is confident he can bridge the gap to Dunlop and Hutchy.
“I had two crashes last year (one at the North West 200 and the other at the TT) and that was me knackered. But I ran with Hutchy and Michael at the Ulster Grand Prix. There was nothing in it on speed there so I think it will be fast enough.”
Anstey eases his way back into action, but there’s no rush