Anstey to ride 500GP Yamaha for Classic TT

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Kiwi Bruce Anstey will line up on the starting grid for this year’s Classic TT on a Yamaha YZR500, as his Valvoline Padgett’s team bring one of the most exotic machines every to tackle the Mountain Course out of retirement for the event.

The 500GP machine, raced by the likes of Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson, John Kocinski, Niall Mackenzie, and Randy Mamola, is over 20 years old, but with specs that put many modern machines to shame. Weighing in at only 115kg, the machine produces over 150bhp, to blitz the power to weight ratio of most modern TT machines.

The bike will be fully painted up in the iconic Padgett’s rainbow stripes and the colours of team sponsor Valvoline, identical to the Honda Fireblade that took Anstey to the absolute TT course lap record in June.

Speaking about the news, Padgett’s Motorcycles Team Manager Clive Padgett said: “We are delighted to be able to support the Classic TT and are looking forward to getting back to the Isle of Man later in the year off the back of another successful TT for our team. To be able to come with something as spectacular as the YZR500 Yamaha has got the whole team motivated including Bruce who, as most race fans will know, made his name on two stroke machinery. The Classic TT was a massive success in its first year and we really want to be part of it going forward.”

Paul Phillips, TT & Motorsport Development Manager, Isle of Man Government Department of Economic Development added: “This is great news for the event and great news for the fans. To have one of the most successful teams in TT history come to the event in only its second year gives enormous credibility to what we are building with the Classic TT. And Padgett’s Motorcycles really have pushed the boat out with their entry; Bruce Anstey on a factory spec 500cc Grand Prix two stroke racing around the Mountain Course should be a spectacular sight.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer