Belfast Telegraph

Dean Harrison is set to Spring into Scarborough action

By Paul Lindsay

Saintfield team Mar-Train Racing - who will focus their attention on the pure road racing scene with Bradford's Dean Harrison this year - will open their 2015 account at the Spring Cup at Oliver's Mount, Scarborough on April 11 and 12.

With the backing of Yamaha UK, Harrison is among the favourites to threaten the big guns this season on the International Road Racing scene, and Scarborough will be a great place to start on the all-new R1.

Gareth Keys is another local lad who will be opening his season at Scarborough with others expected to announce their participation in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, reigning British Supersport champions Smiths Triumph have issued a statement looking to redress the balance over their signing of Guy Martin in favour of their 2014 TT winning star Gary Johnson.

Johnson stated he was shell-shocked to have lost the ride to Martin, but Smiths Triumph team boss Rebecca Smith has hit back, stating that Johnson was offered the package. But his financial expectations caused the breakdown, the statement said.

"For the record, Gary Johnson was offered the Supersport TT ride with us for the 2015 TT back in October 2014," said Smith.

"Those initial discussions highlighted that Gary's financial expectations had transformed drastically since he rode for us in 2014 and, whilst we were prepared to improve the package for 2015, they were just too far apart from what our budget allowed."

Explaining the deal, she added: "As a team, the deal from our side had not changed logistically. The bike is better, having undergone further development work, and the crew he would be working with would be the same, as would the testing plan.

"I am not prepared to disclose any of the financial discussions that took place as I deem these to be confidential, but I will say that those which have been printed in the media over the last week or so are vastly incorrect. Right up until recently, the deal was still on offer to Gary but we were not prepared to increase our initial offer."

Ten times a winner at the Isle of Man TT, Northern Ireland based Welshman Ian Lougher and his ILR Team will oversee the world-renowned Paton company's S1 Supertwin project at this year's TT Races in June.

Fellow racing veteran Michael Rutter, himself a four-time TT winner, is the chosen competitor to ride the Kawasaki ER6 powered Italian machine.

"The bike looks fantastic," Rutter enthused. "Considering how little testing time Olie Linsdell had on it last year, he still ended up third quickest in practice, and was able to bring it home in sixth in the race, so I can't wait."

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