Monday, August 10


Bruce Anstey in action on the Padgetts Valvoline Honda CBR1000R.
Forty-nine years since Huntly’s Ginger Molloy won the Ulster 250cc Grand Prix, Wellington’s Bruce Anstey has scored a second win at the Ulster Grand Prix meeting in Northern Ireland.

When Molloy won on the Dundrod circuit, the event was a round of the World Championships.  Now it is an international race contested mainly by riders from the British Isles, and a few Antipodeans.

For Anstey, this year was a repeat of his 2010 success: he won the Superbike race at the Ulster Grand Prix for the first time that year, setting a new lap record of 133.977mph, making him the fastest rider on the fastest motorcycle racing circuit in the world.

That record still stands.

This year Anstey won a thrilling Ulster Grand Prix Superbike race, which ended after the event was red-flagged half way into the sixth of seven laps.  Race officials then decided to declare the results after the fourth lap rather than the fifth, reasoning that the fourth lap was the last lap completed by every rider.

So Anstey (Honda CBR1000RR) got the verdict by 0.337 of a second over Ian Hutchinson (Kawasaki ZX-10R) with Lee Johnson (BMW S1000R) third.

The leading trio, along with Peter Hickman and Connor Cummins, had been engaged in a wheel-to-wheel battle on the frighteningly fast Dundrod public roads course with less than a second separating them.

Anstey and Hutchinson had already swapped positions twice on the sixth lap before the red flags came out.

In true English sporting tradition, runner-up Ian Hutchinson, who had been leading at the end of the fifth lap, felt he had been hard done by.

"I genuinely feel like I won the race," said the Yorkshireman.

"It could not go back to lap four because that is not two-thirds distance.

"I planned my race to be leading at the first point where a result could be declared in the event of the race being stopped."

Anstey's win came two days after he had won the Superbike race at the Dundrod 150.

He scored that win after celebrity truck mechanic Guy Martin crashed his Tyco BMW while leading.

FOOTNOTE:  As well as being the scene of the first World 250 GP win by a New Zealander, the Ulster Grand Prix was where New Zealand’s first Isle of Man TT winner, Rod Coleman, had his last world championship race.  That was 60 years ago.