Harrison and RC Express Racing claim maiden TT win
7th June 2014 / Race News
Dean Harrison and the RC Express Racing by MSS Performance team claimed their maiden victory at the Isle of Man TT Races on Friday when the Bradford rider brilliantly won the 3-lap Lightweight race, leading from start to finish.
Grabbing the race by the scruff of the neck, Dean signalled his intentions from the off and immediately slotted into the lead at Glen Helen on the opening lap, although the gap was only half a second. With fastest man in practice Ivan Lintin retiring early, Dean was under pressure from last year’s race winner James Hillier, but the 25-year old was riding superbly and with an opening lap of 117.897mph, his lead had risen to an impressive 9.7s.
Both riders opted to refuel at the end of the opening lap but Dean continued to extend his lead all the way round the second lap and, going into the third and final 37.73 miles, he was in the ideal position of controlling the race. A lap of 118.666mph ensured he came home for a brilliant, debut victory with Hillier some 14s in arrears at the chequered flag.
The closing race of the 2014 festival, the Senior, took place later in the afternoon and Dean’s superb form continued on the opening lap as he posted his first ever 130mph lap of the Mountain Course. A speed of 130.261mph placed him in a strong fifth place, less than three seconds off the race lead and although eventual race winner Michael Dunlop opened up a gap over the rest of the field on lap two, Dean maintained his fifth place. However, his race ended soon after as he was cruelly forced to retire at Sulby on the third lap.
Dean Harrison: “Ivan had been fastest all week in the Lightweight and I expected him to be pushing hard so my plan was to go as fast as I could right from the off. My first board said ‘P1, +0’ but I just kept plugging away and the gap kept getting bigger and bigger. I felt really comfortable with the pace I was running and had no issues, no slides or anything and the bike was absolutely faultless. To win my first TT is something special and with Dad having won one of the Sidecar races early in the week, the job’s a dream.”
“I was all set to go to the pub after taking the race win but we had the Senior to get through and I couldn’t have wished for a better start with my first ever 130mph lap. We were looking really good in fifth and everything was going great but, sadly, a mechanical problem brought my race to an early end. It’s a shame race week ended with a DNF but I’m delighted with how the races have gone and the team have been absolutely mint so a big thanks to all the boys for doing such a mega job.”
Ben Constable, Team Co-Owner: “After taking second place earlier in the week, to finish with a win is unreal and I must admit, it all got a bit emotional in parc ferme! My head went off the rails and I was shouting and screaming I was that happy – winning a TT is like a dream come true for everyone connected with the team and to do it in just our second year as a team is brilliant.”
“We came to this year’s TT with a couple of things on our mind – ours was to get a podium and Dean’s was to record a personal best lap and break the 130mph barrier – so to have achieved them all, and more, is brilliant. It’s a pity our week ended with our first ever DNF at the TT but it’s been a great TT for us and we've received plenty of recognition for our efforts. It’s great that people are recognising what we’re trying to do and people are already talking to us about 2015 and this year’s TT has only just finished! All I can say is that it’s been absolutely mega and everyone in the team has worked their absolute socks off so a massive thanks to each and every one of them.”
The team will return to the Isle of Man in July for the Southern 100 road races, the meeting taking place from July 7-10.
Picture by Pacemaker Press International