Flying Kiwi Bruce Anstey caused a stir during opening practice for the Superbike class at the Isle of Man TT on Monday evening, firing in two 127mph laps on the exotic MotoGP-based Honda RC213V-S.
The ten-time Mountain Course winner was having only his first outing on the awesome Valvoline Padgetts-backed V4 racer and made an instant impact.
Anstey, who won the RST Superbike race last year for his maiden victory in the class at the TT, clocked 122mph from a standing start and went through the timing beam at 179.4mph as he wound up the wick on the RCV.
The popular New Zealander then upped the ante, improving to 127.06mph before increasing his pace slightly on his third and final lap to 127.07mph as he ended the Superbike session fifth quickest overall.
It was a mightily impressive opening salvo from Anstey and hints at plenty more to come from the state-of-the art Honda GP racer this week.
“It's pretty good, the V4 power is so smooth,” Anstey said.
“It feels like a 600 to ride but it's lighter than a 600 – it's so easy without even having to try. Out of corners it launches out so nicely.
“It's surprising how stable it is,” he added. “We need a few tweaks here and there but it's surprising how good it is for a first lap.”
Tyco BMW's Ian Hutchinson topped the Superbike times in perfect conditions and almost managed a 130mph lap, setting the benchmark at 129.964mph to head Michael Dunlop on the Hawk Racing BMW, who lapped at 129.670mph from a standing start.