The evergreen Bruce Anstey won the feature Superbike race in a record-breaking shootout that will live long in the memory at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix.
The 48-year-old rolled back the years in a breath-taking race around Dundrod, which saw the outright lap record smashed three times to reinforce the awesome 7.4-mile course as the fastest road race in the world.
Flying Kiwi Anstey halted Peter Hickman’s winning streak to clinch the spoils in the big race of the day, securing the RCV’s first international roads triumph.
The Padgetts Honda rider narrowly lost out to Hickman in the opening Supersport race but Anstey turned the tables in a seven-lap thriller, with the absolute course record going to Dean Harrison in third at 134.614mph on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki.
Anstey didn’t make the best of starts but he soon hauled himself into contention behind Hickman and Conor Cummins (Padgetts Honda Fireblade).
Tyco BMW’s Dan Kneen and Harrison were also right in the mix as the top five were separated by only three-quarters-of-a-second.
Anstey set a new lap record of 134.235mph on lap two but it didn’t last long, as the New Zealand rider went faster on lap three at 134.396mph before taking the lead for the first time on the run towards the Deer’s Leap.
There was more drama to come as Harrison sensationally smashed the record again on lap four, raising the bar to 134.614mph in fifth place.
Anstey led on the penultimate lap but Hickman had forced his way to the front as they began the seventh and final lap, with Harrison up to third ahead of Kneen and Cummins.
However, Anstey squeezed past Hickman on the run towards Joey’s Windmill and from there he held on to the finish, despite coming under intense pressure from Hickman.
New lap record holder Harrison finished on the podium in third ahead of Kneen and Cummins, with Derek Sheils finishing a long way back in sixth on the Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki.
Michael Dunlop, who had been lying sixth on the Bennetts Suzuki, was a retirement on lap four.