All eyes were on Bruce Anstey as the opening Isle of Man TT Superbike practice session got underway this evening, with the New Zealander taking to the track on his RC213V-S MotoGP replica for the first time.
The 10-time TT winner headed out on his CBR1000RR Superbike first but after just a lap he returned to the pits to swap to the exotic Grand Prix replica.
On his first lap, he recorded an average speed of 122mph from a standing start – a remarkable feat considering the bike wasn’t even running 24 hours ago.
On his second run from a standing start, Anstey upped the pace to 127mph and looked set to go faster on his first flier until he encountered traffic on the course. He was fastest through the Sulby speed trap, clocking 193.4mph on his fourth and final lap.
“We’re over the moon with how fast the first couple of laps went,” Clive Padgett told MCN. “It’s always a gamble with a new bike. We did two laps with the new fuel tank so that’s another box ticked and it’s very encouraging.
“This is incredibly special for us given that the bike didn’t start until this afternoon and last night it wasn’t even running! There’s hopefully still a lot more to come from both the bike and Bruce.”
Despite a strong start with the RCV, Padgett admits there is debate as to which bike they will run come Saturday’s Superbike race.
“It’s up to Bruce which bike he will race. He is now starting to debate it. We have a very fast Superbike which broke the race record last year and did 209.8mph at the North West. It’s both fast and proven but we will see.”