Classic TT: Harrison wins Superbike finale

Dean Harrison on the Silicone Kawasaki during Tuesday's Classic TT Superbike race.
Dean Harrison on the Silicone Kawasaki during Tuesday's Classic TT Superbike race.

Dean Harrison won the Motorsport Merchandise Classic TT Superbike race for the first time in a record-breaking finale on the Isle of Man.

The feature race was postponed from Monday due to poor weather and although riders were warned of damp patches around the Mountain Course, the lap record for the class was shattered twice.

Runner-up Bruce Anstey set a new lap record on the Padgetts Yamaha YZR500.

Runner-up Bruce Anstey set a new lap record on the Padgetts Yamaha YZR500.

Harrison first clocked 127.212mph on his second lap before Flying Kiwi Bruce Anstey upped the ante further on his fourth and final lap, raising the benchmark to 127.496mph on the Padgetts Yamaha YZR500.

Bradford rider Harrison had 16 seconds in hand over Anstey at the finish on his Silicone Engineering Kawasaki, with Horst Saiger rounding out the rostrum places on the Greenall Racing Kawasaki.

A delighted Harrison said: “I got stuck in from the start and I just chipped away. I was ‘P1, +8’ on my first board and I got it up to 29 or 30 seconds, so I cruised most of the last lap.

“I felt that I could have pushed on faster but I’m a bit under the weather to be honest and I’m not feeling as fit as I have been.

Michael Dunlop's bad luck with the Team Classic Suzuki continued as he retired in the pits.

Michael Dunlop's bad luck with the Team Classic Suzuki continued as he retired in the pits.

“I’d like to say a massive thanks to all the crowd and everyone who waved me around on the last lap because they’ve been cheering all week. Thanks to all the marshals who have been out there all week as well.”

Harrison extended his advantage further in the pits at the end of lap two over Anstey, whose YZR500 takes longer to fuel up than the Kawasaki.

“My lads have been the same lads that have been with me all year and they’ve just been getting slicker and slicker,” Harrison said.

“There were a few damp patches but conditions are getting better and better with each lap.

“I won the Classic 500 race [in 2015] but this is the one that everyone wants to win – it’s the main race of the week and I’m over the moon.”

Anstey felt he was too cautious on the opening lap, handing the initiative to Harrison.

“We have to carry more fuel than the four-strokes and it takes longer to fill the bike, but I think I lost the race on the first lap,” he said.

“I was a bit too cautious. [David] Johnson went all through the cement dust and there was dust everywhere, so I took it pretty steady on that first lap, but he’s [Harrison] riding well.

“I thought I might as well try and get the lap record on the last lap. I’m happy with that and the bike never a missed a beat all week.”

Last year’s race winner Michael Dunlop had been holding second place at Glen Helen on lap one, 3.5 seconds behind Harrison, but the Ballymoney man dropped to 11th over the remainder of the lap and retired the Team Classic Suzuki in the pits.

Harrison had a cushion of 9.6 seconds over Anstey as he slowed for his pit stop, with Saiger lying third ahead of Team York Suzuki riders David Johnson and Gary Johnson, and Ivan Lintin (Kraus Kawasaki) in sixth.

Harrison had increased his advantage to 29.7 seconds after Anstey’s slower pit stop and he managed his pace over the final two laps, easing off on the last lap to wrap up victory.

Josh Brookes was among the retirements on the Rotary Norton, with Gary Johnson also forced out.

David Johnson took fourth, almost a minute ahead of Conor Cummins (Padgetts Yamaha 750), with William Dunlop (Herheim Kawasaki) and Derek Sheils (Greenall Racing Kawasaki) the top eight.