Armoy Road Races 2015: Dean Harrison revs up for his Ulster Grand Prix bid
Dean Harrison and the Saintfield-based Mar-Train Yamaha Team received a much needed boost at Armoy Road Races on Saturday ahead of the Ulster Grand Prix in just over a week's time when the Yorkshire rider put the new YZF-R1M Yamaha Superstock machine on the SGS International Race of Legends podium on Saturday.
The last time Dean competed at Armoy was in 2010 when he completed a Junior and Senior Support classes double on his debut around the three-mile North Antrim circuit.
He quickly became reacquainted with the circuit putting the team's R6 Yamaha on the front row of the grid for the two Supersport races and the R1 in eighth for the two Superbike events.
In both Supersport races the 26-year old Braford rider became embroiled in battles with Lincolnshire's Guy Martin.
Harrison said: "That was good fun. We were kind of unlucky to miss out on second in the second race."
In fact he finished third in both - on Friday by less than half a second, but on Saturday the gap was less than half a machines length.
Starting from the third row in the Open race the bike just wasn't right and Dean could only manage fifth behind Martin, William Dunlop, Derek Sheils and Michael Dunlop.
However a few tweaks between races saw the R1 transformed and Harrison worked his way through to third position in the Race of Legends, having been fifth on the opening lap a high speed freight train of riders, eventually overhauling Derek McGee and William Dunlop. Harrison sethis fastest lap of 104.293mph on the third of six laps to clinch the final step on the podium.
Harrison commented: "We made a change to the suspension and for the first time the R1 was perfect over the jumps. By the time I had made it past McGee and then William, Michael and Guy were gone, but a podium was a good result.
"We have had a few good events recently and we are heading to the Ulster in a good frame of mind looking for a strong finish to the season."
A buoyant team boss Tim Martin said: "Dean has ridden well here at a circuit he doesn't know. He was getting faster with every outing and the podium in the feature race really pleased me.
"We made a small change to the R1 for that race and it solved a small problem we were having over the jumps allowing Dean to push on and he did well to catch and pass William Dunlop around here.
"We started July with our heads down, but have finished it with our tails up; full credit to Dean, my guys on the support team, Yamaha UK and Ohlins Suspension for making it happen."