Kiwi Bruce Anstey and his Relentless by TAS Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike have made history by becoming the world’s fastest combination of rider and machine ever in Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod in Northern Ireland, averaging an astonishing 133.977mph in the final race of the day last weekend.
Anstey’s record-breaking lap aided his Superbike win in the final race of the day, taking the TAS Racing team’s top step tally to 12 at ‘The Ulster’. And judging by the reaction of the 30,000 strong crowd at the County Antrim venue, the London-based Kiwi was also the event’s most popular winner around the 7.401-mile circuit.
Anstey was unfortunate not to have also taken the opening Superbike race win in a six-lap thriller that involved up to six riders. The 41-year-old suggested in a succinct manner afterwards during a radio interview, that backmarkers probably blighted his cause at the Lindsay Hairpin on the final circuit, but was happy in the circumstances with second place.
“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,” Anstey explained.
“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.”
Australian teammate Cameron Donald overcame a mid-week medical for a viral infection and fought bravely in all of the races. After a mediocre start to the day in the Superstock encounter, where he finished 11th, the Cookstown-based Aussie got himself in the thick of the action in both Superbike races.
In the opening race he overshot at Cochranestown losing out on the opportunity of a podium return to Dundrod. But in race two his lap times were only bettered by his world record-breaking teammate and those who flanked him on the podium. Donald eventually finished fourth with a best lap of 133.401mph.
“A tough day at the office it really was today,” the Victorian said. “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.”