Flying Kiwi Bruce Anstey will have an eyecatching new livery on his Padgett’s Hondas as he chases down his tenth win at the Vauxhall North West 200 in May. The Batley based squad have announced a new sponsorship deal with oil giant Valvoline for 2014.
Veteran Anstey will ride a full line-up of Hondas in the new colours at the North West and the new multi thousand pound deal will also see John McGuinness on Padgett’s prepared Superstock and Supersport Hondas alongside his factory Superbike at Portrush.
“I won as a newcomer at the North West back in 2002 and I have always loved coming back.” Anstey said as he unveiled his new 2014 machinery at the Yorkshire dealership.
“Racing there is all about getting into the right place at the right time and not getting caught out on the coast road. You have to stay really switched on.”
Celebrating his 45th birthday this year has had no effect on the famously laidback Anstey style or speed. He enjoys the incredible achievement of having taken a podium at the North West, TT and Ulster Grand Prix every year for the last 11 seasons and he intends to keep that record going in 2014.
“The Honda won’t be the fastest bike out there in the Superbike class and that makes it harder to win races at the North West where speed is so important on the straights but we will be in there.” he predicted.
“Alastair Seeley will be hard to beat as usual and there are loads of other people who are capable of winning. We just need some sunshine this year and there will be plenty of close racing and a great atmosphere.”
The weather may have played havoc with the 2013 race schedule but it left Anstey undeterred as he steered his way to a Superstock podium on Thursday evening and a Supersport runner up spot in Saturday’s only race.
“The weather has made things difficult the last few years but I don’t mind the rain. It kinda evens everything out a bit.” the Kiwi smiles.
Anstey is the holder of the fastest road race lap record ever at 133.975mph, set on a Relentless Suzuki at the Ulster Grand Prix in 2010. So far he has still to score a win at the North West on a Padgett’s machine but he feels completely at home in the team he joined three years ago.
“This will be my fourth year in a row with Clive and the Padgett’s team.” he says.
“It’s like a family here and Clive is good at reading riders. He knows how to get the best out of them. You never feel under pressure to perform but he gives you the confidence to do well.”
Padgett is equally glowing in his praise of his star rider.
“Bruce is brilliant.” he laughs. “He just turns up and goes fast everywhere. There is never any fuss.”
“It is great to have two riders like John and Bruce in our team. We see ourselves as a ‘mates racing ‘ team and this deal with Valvoline will ensure we are able to keep doing what we do.”
His team’s new colours will have their first public showing at the opening two BSB rounds at Oulton Park and Brands Hatch, with Kiwi Anstey and Aussie Glen Richards riding Fireblades in the Superstock races.