HARRISON WINS BIG
Kawasaki man trumps TT big guns Dunlop and Mcguinness with five Superbike wins
Dean Harrison celebrated the Scarborough Gold Cup’s 70th anniversary by claiming all five Superbike races – including his second victory in Sunday’s feature race.
The Silicone Engineering Kawasaki rider, who dominated the Yorkshire seaside event on his ZX-10R, said: “That’s my second Gold Cup win and I have been around Scarborough a few times so I know the track.
“It’s experience isn’t it? The more times you do something, the better you get. It’s all about being smooth here. If you try to be aggressive you end up going slow, it’s one of those places.”
And the 27-year-old Bradford man was up against road racing’s elite inciding TT rivals Michael Dunlop, John Mcguinness and Ivan Lintin.
“My engine is a stock motor, that’s all I have had all year,” he explained.
“Getting a good grid position in practice, getting a good start and then getting into the groove is important. There are plenty of places to overtake, it’s just a case of picking the right one and setting yourself up. I always like to overtake someone courteously rather than stick it up the inside of them.”
Eight- times Gold Cup winner Guy Martin was one of the first people to congratulate Harrison. The Lincolnshire star was making his only road racing appearance of the 2016 season at the track where he was once dominant, taking part in an anniversary parade lap on his home-built Pikes Peak Suzuki turbo.
“Guy gave me the thumbs up afterwards,” Harrison said as he staked his claim to a new dominance of the 2.4mile Oliver’s Mount parkland circuit that outright lap record- holder Martin once enjoyed.
“I know that I can run the pace of anyone around here,” he said. “Guy has been real fast around here but I have ridden round with him at that pace. I did a 1.45.1 yesterday in one of the races and the lap record is 1.44.269 so we have been 0.8 seconds off the lap record this weekend and I’m riding around by myself. Guy broke the record when him and me were going at it in 2013.”
Although Harrison won the Gold Cup race on the Mar-train Yamaha last year, it was at the end of a season in which he had struggled to come to terms with the new R1.
“Last year I had a lot of breakdowns,” Harrison admitted. “Everyone breaks down now and again but you don’t cry, you have to take the rough with the smooth. This has been a good year.”
His return to Kawasaki power with Paul Iddon’s Silicone squad has been the key factor in a return to form that included three TT podiums.
Like fellow TT stars Ian Hutchinson and Michael Dunlop, Harrison has sharpened his skills this year by competing in the cut-and-thrust of the British championship short circuit series.
“I have done Oulton and Donington in the Supersport championship,” he said. “I have done more riding this year than ever before. We are going off to Assen now and then Brands. I had never even been to Oulton Park before and I got into the points, so it wasn’t all bad.”
Having found a happy new home for his skills, Harrison will be sitting tight for 2017.
“The team is mint,” he smiled. “All the lads I work with are great and we have everything we need. Paul organises everything well and it all works, so it will be the same again for next year. I couldn’t ask for any more really.”
“We are still a young team and we had to step up quite a bit when we signed Dean,” Silicone boss and former racer, Iddon added.
Iddon’s young protégé has been on the pace and on or close to the podium at all the international road races this year. He is now lapping in the 131mph bracket at the TT and the squad will spend the winter in a search for more power from the ZX-10R to help him bridge the gap to the 133mph laps of Dunlop and Hutchinson’s BMWS.
“We have been running the stock engine in the Superbike all year after our Superbike-spec motor blew up at the North West,” Iddon said.
“The plan is to develop a new engine during the winter. We have an engine guy in now and we will develop step by step. We have 198bhp at the moment and an extra 20 will go a long way to helping Dean close that gap.”
‘The team is mint. All the lads I work with are great’ DEAN HARRISON
Running a stock engine in his ZX-10R, Harrison was unstoppable
Harrison gets the holeshot on his way to Gold Cup glory