Fresh from shattering the outright lap record around the Mountain Course during this year’s Isle of Man TT Races, New Zealand legend Bruce Anstey will line up for the Motorsport Merchandise Formula 1 Classic TT Race on board an ex-factory YZR500 Yamaha GP bike. The bike will be liveried in the Valvoline by Padgetts Motorcycles team colours.
Re-affirming the organisers’ desire to make the event the biggest, most prestigious Classic Race in the world, the Mountain Course will reverberate to the wailing sound of the two-stroke Yamaha which will, without doubt, be one of the most exotic bikes to have tackled the 37 and ¾-mile circuit.
The machine, owned and run by Padgett’s Motorcycles, is identical to the bikes ridden by the likes of Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson, John Kocinski, Niall Mackenzie, Juan Garriga and Randy Mamola in the 500cc World Championship and, despite being over 20 years old, produces more than 150bhp. Weighing just 115kg, compared to 170kg for a modern day Superbike, its power-to-weight ratio makes the YZR500 a formidable weapon.
With Anstey, the Padgett’s team has the ideal rider to be on board the YZR500 Yamaha with the Kiwi not only being one of the most versatile riders in the paddock but also one of the sport’s most successful competitors. Forty-four year old Anstey, the current TT outright lap record holder, after setting a stunning lap of 132.298mph in this year’s Dainese Superbike Race, has taken no less than 9 wins at the TT while his 31 podiums have only been bettered by John McGuinness and Joey Dunlop.
The team themselves also has an illustrious track record at the TT and is one of the most successful to have competed at the Isle of Man. The Batley-based outfit has been prolific in recent years with Anstey, McGuinness and Ian Hutchinson taking 11 wins and 26 podiums between them since 2007. Hutchinson’s five-timer in 2010 remains the most wins in a single meeting.
Padgett’s are no strangers to running 500cc two-strokes around the Mountain Course either with Jim Moodie having ridden a 500cc V-Twin NSR Honda in the 1997 Senior TT, finishing second and posting a best lap of 121.91mph. Nigel 'Cap' Davies also took a Harris-framed YZR500 Yamaha to sixth place in the 1998 Senior TT.
Ian Lougher set the fastest two-stroke lap around the course, 122.93mph, on a 500cc V-Twin NSR Honda in the 1999 Senior TT.
Speaking about the news, Padgett’s Motorcycles Team Manager Clive Padgett commented:
“We are delighted to be able to support the Classic TT and are looking forward to getting back to the Isle of Man later in the year off the back of another successful TT for our team. To be able to come with something as spectacular as the YZR500 Yamaha has got the whole team motivated including Bruce who, as most race fans will know, made his name on two stroke machinery. The Classic TT was a massive success in its first year and we really want to be part of it going forward.”
Paul Phillips, TT & Motorsport Development Manager, Isle of Man Government Department of Economic Development added:
“This is great news for the event and great news for the fans. To have one of the most successful teams in TT history come to the event in only its second year gives enormous credibility to what we are building with the Classic TT. And Padgett’s Motorcycles really have pushed the boat out with their entry; Bruce Anstey on a factory spec 500cc Grand Prix two stroke racing around the Mountain Course should be a spectacular sight.”
The Motorsport Merchandise Formula 1 TT Race takes place on Monday 25th August. The 2014 Classic TT presented by Bennetts also includes the Bennetts 500cc Race and Okells 350cc Race as well as the Joey Dunlop Road Racing Legends – The Rivals Parade Lap sponsored by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company and the Classic Racer Magazine Lap of Honour.