Belfast Telegraph

Harrison is thrilled after his dramatic TT triumph

Speed king: Dean Harrison on his way to Senior TT victory
Speed king: Dean Harrison on his way to Senior TT victory

By Roy Harris

Dean Harrison won a dramatic six-lap Senior TT race yesterday with the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki rider taking the lead after long-time leader Peter Hickman ran into mechanical problems with his Smiths BMW on the penultimate lap.

A jubilant Harrison said after the race: "Hector Neill hit the nail on the head when he said to finish first, first you have to finish.

"Peter kept chipping away at the front and I thought if I could keep the gap to 19 or 20 seconds I might still be in it. I can't believe it to be honest.

"I saw a first P1 board at Ballaugh and the next one said +30 and I thought someone must have dropped out.

"The thing I'm really pleased about is to win over six laps, two pit stops, done the hard way.

"I have to thank the massive crowd around the circuit, they were hanging out of hedges, waving programmes, big foam fingers and they deserve a race like this after what we have had all week."

Hickman led from Harrison at Glen Helen on lap one by three tenths of a second, the battle between the pair taking them almost six seconds clear of Conor Cummins in third and Michael Dunlop in fourth.

Harrison edged ahead by Ballaugh with Hickman back in front at Ramsey by a fifth of a second, extending it to 2.2 seconds at the end of the lap with the fastest lap of the week at 134.284mph from a standing start.

The duo at the front were the only riders over the 190mph mark at Sulby speed-trap with Hickman extending his advantage at the front with Harrison a comfortable second.

Dunlop and Hickman left the pits after the first stop side by side, the Tyco BMW rider letting the race leader past as they headed towards Bray Hill.

By the second pit stop at the end of lap four, outright lap record holder Hickman had built up what seemed an unassailable lead of almost 18 seconds and seemed well set to pick up his fourth win of the week to join the exclusive group of Phillip McCallen, Dunlop and five-in-a-week winner Ian Hutchinson.

Then drama. From nowhere, Harrison took 10 seconds out of Hickman's lead by Glen Helen on lap five and by Ramsey had the lead of the race by eight seconds.

Hickman was in trouble, slowing dramatically, as Harrison extended his lead sector by sector to win by over 53 seconds from Hickman. He punched the air with delight as he flashed past the chequered flag.

Louth ace Hickman (33) took the defeat on the chin and said: "We are gutted. The bike was awesome the first four laps, I had a 19-second lead and was cruising like in the Superstock race.

"But then the temperature went really high when I came in for the final pit stop, as it had done all week in practice and we don't know why.

"We have a lot of really smart people who have no idea why it's chucking water out. I couldn't go over 11,000rpm and rode the last two laps at half throttle. It's a great result for Dean and I'm happy with another podium."

Cummins finished third, 5.817 seconds behind Hickman, with Dunlop fourth, 28 seconds behind the Ramsey man. James Hillier was fifth and Davey Todd a brilliant sixth in only his second TT and with a lap of over 131mph as well.

Meanwhile, Glenn Irwin, who was on a visit to the TT yesterday, said: "I haven't ruled out riding at the TT in the future. I have raced at Dundrod and the North West 200, so why not the Isle of Man?"

Belfast Telegraph

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