ULSTER GP: Anstey ready for Hickman showdown

Bruce Anstey is a former outright lap record holder at the Ulster Grand Prix.
Bruce Anstey is a former outright lap record holder at the Ulster Grand Prix.

Former Dundrod outright lap record holder Bruce Anstey has vowed to take the fight to pre-race favourite Peter Hickman at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix.

The veteran New Zealander held the title of the world’s fastest road racer from 2010 until last year, when Ian Hutchinson topped the Flying Kiwi’s 133.977mph record with a new benchmark of 134.089mph – the first ever 134mph road racing lap.

Flying Kiwi Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts Honda RC213V-S.

Flying Kiwi Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts Honda RC213V-S.

However, the injured Hutchinson’s searing feat was outdone by Smiths BMW rider Hickman, who upped the ante to 134.210mph on his way to victory in Thursday’s Dundrod 150 Superbike race.

The 30-year-old has been the dominant force so far ahead of Saturday's headline races at the 7.4-mile course, but Anstey is confident he can step up to the plate on the awesome Padgetts Honda RC213V-S.

The Flying Kiwi clinched his 13th win at Dundrod with a commanding victory in the Lightweight race on Thursday on Clive Padgett’s Honda RS250 as he made his two-stroke bow at the event.

And now Anstey is fired up to add to his tally at the last of the ‘big three’ major international road races of the year.

The 48-year-old, who finished third behind Hickman and Dean Harrison in the first Superbike outing, said: “The bike is awesome at the moment and on Saturday we’ll give Peter a run for his money.

“He got away from me on Thursday by the time I got past Conor [Cummins] and I tried to chase him down. I just ran out of steam and dropped back – maybe it was the old age catching up on me.

“But I’m pleased with how the bike is going so we’ll be there for another go on Saturday.”