16 August 2016
Classic TT: Anstey returns on YZR500 GP Yamaha
Bruce Anstey will again ride the Valvoline Padgetts YZR500 Yamaha in the Classic Superbike race at this year's Classic TT on the Isle of Man.
Lap record holder Bruce Anstey will return to the Classic TT on the Valvoline Padgetts Yamaha YZR500 GP machine, where he is set to renew his rivalry with Michael Dunlop.
Ulsterman Dunlop won the Classic Superbike race last year after Anstey encountered problems when one of the exhausts on the 500cc two-stroke machine worked loose.
However, the Flying Kiwi set a new lap record of 126.261mph and will be fired up to reclaim the title he won in 2014 in the Motorsport Merchandise-backed race, which takes place on Monday, August 29.
Dunlop will again ride a Suzuki XR69 for Steve Wheatman's Team Classic Suzuki concern, when his team-mates include Ulsterman Lee Johnston, who suffered a broken collarbone in a practice crash at the Ulster Grand Prix. Johnston is a doubt for the event but hasn't ruled himself out of the meeting.
With 13 riders having lapped at more than 120mph last year, one of the strongest threats to Anstey and Dunlop will come from the three-pronged Mistral Racing attack, who will field Steve Mercer, Dan Kneen and Jamie Coward on 750cc ZXR Kawasaki machines. All three have a great chance of standing on the rostrum at least, with Coward having taken sixth place last year.
Kneen took ninth in 2015 on the Valvoline Racing OW01 Yamaha, while Mercer was on course for a podium in 2013 before slipping off at low speed at Ramsey Hairpin, although he came back to take fourth the following year.
Two more potential race winners include Dean Harrison and James Hillier, who will line up on 750cc ZXR Kawasakis with Harrison more likely to have the potential to challenge Dunlop and Anstey on his Silicone Engineering-entered machine. He took three podiums at this year's TT, as did Hillier, who's back with Greenall Racing for the Classic TT having finished fourth in the corresponding race last year.
Ivan Lintin, winner of the Bennetts Lightweight TT for the second year in a row this year, will be on board the Devitt RC Express Racing Kawasaki with Horst Saiger (Greenall Racing), Dan Stewart (MBR/Wilcock Consulting) and John Barton (Excel Group IOM/Wemoto) also using the 750cc ZXR Kawasaki as their machine of choice.
Michael Rutter is also expected to feature prominently on the leaderboard. The Bridgnorth man rides Roger Winfield's Harris Yamaha this year, which is the same bike that Ryan Farquhar took to third place last year.
This year TT Privateer's Champion Dan Hegarty makes his debut at the Classic TT with 2015 Champion Dan Cooper another who has chosen an XR69 Suzuki, this time for Steve Caffyn's CSC Racing outfit.
Bedfordshire's Olie Linsdell is back for another go on the Flitwick Motorcycles 750cc Yamaha with Ben Wylie also returning on a 750cc Bimota.
Practice for the Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix gets underway this Saturday, August 20.
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