The Dafabet Devitt Racing team were back in action at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough at the weekend for the Steve Henshaw International Gold Cup races and it proved to be an excellent meeting with Dean Harrison taking three wins and a new lap record.
Having a one off outing for the team, who he previously rode for between 2012 and 2014, Harrison was in excellent form and enjoyed some superb battles with Lee Johnston in all five of the Supersport 600cc races, including the feature event, where he was riding the Kawasaki ZX-6R.
The duo were never more than a second apart in any of the races, particularly in the Gold Cup where they repeatedly broke the 600cc class lap record. Dean eventually took a close second place, as he had done in the three previous races, by just 0.211s but did have the consolation of a new lap record after posting the first ever sub 1m45s lap of the 2.43-mile woodland circuit at 1m44.842s, 83.44mph.
The Bradford rider did get his revenge over Johnson in the final 600cc race, with a half second victory whilst he also took two excellent victories in the Supetwins races. After finishing second to Jamie Coward on Saturday, Harrison turned the tables on Sunday and took two wins on the Kawasaki Z650, with both riders inside the old lap record, to end the meeting as the overall winner of the class.
Regular team member Rod Hodson was also in action at the North Yorkshire venue and took no less than four fifth place finishes in the four Supertwins races. He was out of luck in the Gold Cup race, retiring at the end of the fourth lap, but the Wigan rider took two sixths in two of the Supersport 600cc races on the team’s R6 Yamaha, setting personal best laps in each class.
Dean Harrison: “It was a bit of a mad dash initially due to getting some metal in my eye but luckily an eye specialist in Bradford had a look at it on Friday morning although after having a needle in there to remove it, it did ache for the rest of the weekend! The racing side of things was absolutely mint though and it turned out to be one of my best and most enjoyable weekends in a while. It was dry and sunny, albeit a bit breezy, and I had some great battles with Lee and Jamie, breaking the lap record on each bike so I can’t complain.”
“I thought Lee would clear off as he knows his way around the place and has been riding superbly at British Championship level but the Kawasaki was flying and a 1m44s lap isn’t hanging around! It was also good to be back on a Twin for the first time in ages and once the team ironed out a few niggles on Friday, I grabbed a couple of wins there too. Roy and Ben are absolutely spot on and it was good to be back with the team so thanks to them for everything and with a good crowd, it was nice to go racing with a bit of normality restored!”
Ben Constable, Team Co-owner: “It’s been a mega weekend and whilst it was only a one-off, Dean fitted back into the team seamlessly and we all gelled straightaway. We had a bit of a scare at the beginning of the meeting when Dean had to dash to hospital on Friday morning due to a workshop accident but he got cleared by all the doctors and then it was straight into it. We had a few niggling issues with the Twin but we got that sorted and he took two great wins on the bike despite not having ridden in the class since 2014!”
“The 600cc races with Lee were brilliant and although we couldn’t win the big race, the lap record and a lap of 1m44s was some going and he got his revenge later in the day. Rob’s still learning the circuit but he’s getting quicker and quicker all the time and ended the weekend with some good results across the two classes and is now running with the group of riders we feel he should be. All in all, it’s been a great weekend and one we’ve thoroughly enjoyed so a big thank you to everyone involved with the team especially Danny Horne for all his hard work behind the scenes these last few weeks and, of course, all of our sponsors for making it happen.”
The team’s next outing will be at Brands Hatch on October 16-18 with Hodson contesting the final round of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship.
Pictures by Steve McDonald