Since qualifying began last week for the 2018 Isle of Man TT, Dean Harrison has been on a complete tear.The Silicone Engineering Kawasaki rider was quick throughout the Superbike, Superstock and Supersport qualifying sessions on his Kawasaki ZX-10R and ZX-6R motorcycles, topping the time sheets twice.
Though Harrison had to settle for a DNF due to mechanical issues during Saturday’s opening RST Superbike TT, he led the opening four laps, and set a new outright lap record at the 37.73-mile Mountain Course of 134.432mph!Harrison quickly redeemed himself with two additional podium finishes so far: a second in the opening Supersport TT, and third in the RL360 Superstock TT.Harrison further redeemed himself Wednesday by winning the Monster Energy Supersport Race 2, and he did it in record-breaking style.The Bradford rider broke the lap record in the Supersport class by 8.749 seconds, finishing the four-lap Supersport TT in 1:11:28.059 at an average speed of 126.703mph. This was his second TT win, the first arriving at the 2014 Lightweight TT.Harrison finished 18.6 seconds ahead of Tropper Triumph by Smiths Racing’s Peter Hickman, who won the RL360 Superstock race. Claiming third was Quattro Plant JG Speedlift Kawasaki’s James Hillier.Following is from the official IOM TT report:As he has done for most of this week, Harrison led through Glen Helen on the opening lap – his lead over Dunlop 1.8s but Hillier was certainly in touch, only 0.4s behind Dunlop. Hickman was a further 1.8s back with Conor Cummins and Gary Johnson holding on to fifth and sixth.By Ramsey Hairpin, Harrison had increased his lead over Dunlop to 2.7s and whilst Hillier was still in third, he was now 4.3s adrift of Dunlop. Hickman had closed to within 0.1s of Hillier as Cummins and Johnson held station.An opening lap of 128.188mph gave Harrison a 3.6s lead over Dunlop and Hickman had now moved to third albeit by the tiny margin of 0.197s. Cummins was still in fifth but team-mate Lee Johnston had moved up to sixth with Josh Brookes in seventh thus relegating Johnson to eighth. Derek McGee was again going great guns in ninth with James Cowton tenth.As they swept through Glen Helen on the second lap, Harrison’s advantage had stretched to 4.5s over Dunlop and Hickman had edged away from Hillier too, the gap between the riders now one second. The two Padgetts Honda’s of Cummins and Johnston continued to occupy fifth and sixth.Harrison continued to pull away from Dunlop through lap two and with a lap speed of 129.099mph, just outside Dunlop’s lap record from Monday’s race, he’d extended his lead to 8.3s as he came into the pits. The battle for third was still raging though with Hickman still only two seconds ahead of Hillier, who was now leading on the road having overtaken Cummins who was now enjoying a healthy 20s advantage over Johnston. Brookes, Johnson, McGee and Cowton was now the order for seventh to tenth.Dunlop changed his rear tyre but there was drama as he was given a 30s penalty for exceeding the speed limit in pit lane at 60.2km/h and that meant Harrison’s lead had shot up to 18.3s over Hickman as he rounded Glen Helen for the third time. Hillier was still well in touch, the deficit now 1.4s with Cummins up to fourth as Dunlop slipped back to fifth.Through Ramsey, Harrison was continuing to pull away over Hickman and he was doing the same over Hillier. Dunlop was closing in on Cummins though and Brookes had now moved up to sixth.Going into the fourth and final lap, Harrison had a comfortable lead of 19.5s over Hickman who was now looking more secure in second, Hillier now 7.9s in arrears and Cummins had edged away from Dunlop also.There was little change in the running order and Harrison, who was now leading on the road, duly crossed the line for his second TT win with Hickman and Hillier back on the podium once more in second and third.Cummins, Dunlop and Brookes completed the top six with Johnston, Johnson, Cowton and Ivan Lintin rounded out the top ten as McGee’s excellent run came to an unfortunate end on the final lap with a retirement at Sarah’s Cottage.Dunlop (81) continues to lead the Joey Dunlop TT Championship from Hickman and Harrison (both 61) whilst Sam West continues to lead the TT Privateer’s Championship after finishing in 13th. He leads Davey Todd by just two points with the newcomer again having a great ride in 12th.
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!