Belfast Telegraph

Dean Harrison leaves big favourites trailing

By Paul Lindsay

Road racing’s brightest new sensation Dean Harrison — who took his debut win at the Isle of Man TT back in June — continued his rich vein of form during last night’s Senior Solo Founder’s Race at the Southern 100, which opened proceeding at this year’s event.

The 25-year-old Bradford lad out-shone pre-race favourites Guy Martin and Michael Dunlop, setting another new first by winning his debut Superbike class encounter at the stone-wall lined Manx circuit on the picturesque south of the island.

Effervescent as always, the smiling Harrison said: “I got a decent enough start and sat behind Guy before taking the lead on the run out of Church Bends on lap two.

“I looked back, saw a gap and actually thought Guy had run on. From there I just kept my head down and was able to knock it off at the end to take the win.”

Martin joked afterwards that he was nearly ‘down the road’ on the second lap, citing set-up problems on his Tyco Suzuki.

He said: “I was nearly on my backside on that second lap. When Dean came past it was just steady away, but tomorrow’s another day.”

Michael Dunlop, who had a sluggish start on the BMW, crossing the line in fifth place on the opening lap, went on to set the fastest lap of the race on lap five of seven (113.157mph) as he hunted down Martin in second place.

Dunlop closed to within a bike’s length of the Tyco Suzuki man, but also had his own race one problems at this year’s event. Dunlop said: “The bike’s certainly quick but the engine doesn’t suit this place.

“We are developing stuff all the time but we’ll be okay,” he added, giving an indication that third place is not where he intends to be in tonight’s second Senior race scheduled for 6.20pm.

Conor Cummins was the first of the Supersport machines to finish, taking 10th place overall. Tonight’s Senior encounter is followed by the 250/650cc race, the 600cc race with the final race set aside for the Sidecar men at 8.45pm.

The upcoming Armoy Road Races on July 26 will be bolstered by a three-pronged KMR/SGS Kawasaki attack. Team owner Ryan Farquhar said of his Scottish team-mate: “Keith Amor has raced and won at Armoy before, but it’ll be interesting to see what this year is going to be like.”

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