Festival of Motorcycling: Harrison takes honours in Classic Superbike race

By Sports desk   |   Sports reporter   |
Tuesday 28th August 2018 7:11 am
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Dean Harrison on his way to a fourth Classic TT victory on Monday evening (Photo: Dave Kneale) ()

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Dean Harrison, riding a Silicone Engineering Kawasaki, dominated Monday evening’s RST Superbike Classic TT to win by more than a minute.

After the race he revealed that it had taken him a while to get going:

’I felt like I had a bad start to be honest.

’I didn’t feel a 100 per cent on the opening lap – I felt a bit wooden. ’I did feel that if I needed to go faster I could do but it’s an old bike so I wanted to bring it home for the lads.’

He was also pleased with the conditions and the atmosphere around the course and thanked the marshals for supporting the event:

’The conditions were surprisingly good – the odd damp patches but because there was cloud cover there was no sunlight which can cause problems. Thanks to all the crowd, and the marshals who were out there throughout the week, for making it such a great event and atmosphere.’

Greenall Racing’s Horst Saiger had the honour of carrying the number one plate and was first away followed by Harrison, who had only qualified for the race as third fastest.

James Hillier, due to start fifth on the Oxford Products/Louigi Moto Ducati, pulled off the grid after his bike overheated and eventually got going about eight minutes behind the leading riders.

Josh Brookes, on the Wiz Racing Norton, was also reported to have had problems on the grid in 11th place and eventually started six minutes after the first rider got away.

Harrison established a lead of just over two seconds over Gary Johnson on the Team York Suzuki by the first timing point - Glen Helen - with Michael Rutter on the Team Winfield Yamaha third a further two seconds back.

Kawasaki-mounted Paul Jordan (Mistral Racing) and Derek Shiels (Greenall Racing Kawasaki) completed the top five, just over a second back from third place on the Mistral Racing Kawasaki and Greenall Racing Kawasaki’s respectively.

Harrison’s opening lap of 125.471 gave him a lead of more than 19 seconds from Michael Rutter (123.309) with Gary Johnson (122.980) in third almost three seconds behind Rutter.

Conor Cummins, riding the two-stroke Yamaha YZR500 had moved into fourth place, less than half a second behind Johnson, with his opening lap of 122.929 with Saiger (122.247) completing the top five.

Josh Brookes (121.380) had moved through the field to eighth place, half a minute behind the race leader, at the end of the opening lap.

Cummins edged ahead of Johnson at Glen Helen on the second lap and with Rutter retiring at Ballacrye, Cummins moved into second place at Ramsey, more than 30 seconds behind Harrison with Johnson holding third, one and a half seconds down on the Manx rider.

Coming into the pits at the end of the second lap, Harrison’s 126.041 gave him a lead of 37 seconds from Cummins.

However, with Cummins (1:15.912) and Johnson (1:14.834) both experiencing lengthy pit stops – and Johnson’s subsequent retirement at Quarterbridge - Saiger moved into second place at Glen Helen on the third lap.

Paul Jordan and Andrew Dudgeon completed the top five, 18 and 23 seconds down on Cummins respectively.

Brookes, having worked his way through the field up to seventh, lost time before Cronk Ny Mona and was reported as a retirement in the pits.

Harrison’s extended his lead over Saiger to almost a minute with a third lap of 118.013 with Cummins more than 10 seconds behind Saiger. Jordan and Dudgeon completing the top five with third laps of 115.499 and 116.034 respectively.

Harrison duly secured the race win with a last lap of 124.238mph from Saiger (123.560) with Cummins clinching the final podium place with his last lap of 123.832 - almost 10 seconds behind Saiger.

Dudgeon moved ahead of Jordan on the last lap with Jordan experiencing problems and - with Jordan reported to have retired at Handley’s - Jamie Coward moved into fifth place.

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