HARRISON’S FLYING START AT SPRING CUP
On a weekend of near Arctic weather and carnage at Oliver’s Mount, Dean Harrison maintained a steady head to take victory in the 600cc and Superbike events at the Spring Cup.
A huge pile-up during the feature race, that left last year’s Junior Manx Grand Prix winner Billy Redmayne with serious injuries, forced the abandonment of the meeting with little more than half of the races run. But 26-year-old Harrison had already posted performances that indicated how much he has bonded with the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki ZX-10R and ZX-6R that he will race in 2016.
“I am happier now than I’ve been for years,” the Bradford man said. “I’m back on a Kawasaki which makes me feel much more confident. I feel mint, I’m fitter than I’ve ever been and the bikes are good.”
Harrison suffered a torrid 2015 with the new R1 in the Northern Irelandbased Mar-train Yamaha squad. He may have ended on a high by winning last year’s Gold Cup race but it was a case of too little, too late with the R1 for the Yorkshireman. A series of confidence-sapping crashes had left him hungry for change.
“I did have some big offs last year and if I fall and it’s my fault, I’ll tell you it’s my fault,” Harrison says.
“If I lose a race because I made a mistake I’ll tell you. But last year I fell off a couple of times and still to this day I don’t know what happened. That’s what I didn’t like about the bike, it was unpredictable.”
Now reunited with the Kawasaki ZX-10R, Harrison is at home with the new version of the bike he rode in RC Express livery in 2014.
“It’s not head and shoulders above the previous model but they have refined it in every way,” he says.
“I am only on my stock bike this weekend, as my superbike isn’t finished yet. It’s good to get some laps in around here and see what she can do at a road race.”
His new surroundings have given Harrison renewed confidence going into this year’s TT.
“I want to progress from last year which can’t be too hard given that I didn’t finish a race last year,” he smiles.
“The plan is to go back to the previous year when I was on Kawasakis. I want to see some chequered flags and progress and progress and progress. I’ve got to get my 132mph lap. We did 130 on the Yamaha, so I think we can refine that to get another two mph from the Kawasaki. It’s a big ask but if I did 131 plus I’d be happy. I think you have got to do 131 plus to get on the podium so if I can do that, the job’s a good ’un.”
TT contender, Lee Johnston was also hospitalised after crashing out of the Spring Cup race at Memorial on Sunday. The Ecc/burdens BMW rider was taken to hospital with leg injuries with his team reported that he has bruising and torn muscles.
‘I want to progress on last year which can’t be too hard given I didn’t finish a race last year’