DEAN Harrison charged to his very first Isle of Man TT Senior race victory today as reigning winner Peter Hickman dropped out of contention with bike issues.
The Silicone Engineering Kawasaki rider was forced to sit behind Hickman for a majority of today’s six-lap scrap, but a suspected problem with the Smith’s BMW put paid to his charge as Harrison banked his first big bike win on the Mountain Course.
Hickman, who was visibly frustrated not to be using his Superstock bike thanks to a scrutineering strip-down, immediately took control of the race from the start as he beat Harrison’s time to Glen Helen by just 0.351sec, but Harrison clawed back half a second on the run to Ballaugh to take the lead.
But the two continued their dice as Hickman took the advantage back at Ramsey before stretching his lead to a second at the Bungalow as he crossed the line with a scorching 134.28mph lap with two seconds to spare over Harrison.
Hickman powered to Ramsey and up the mountain with 3.4sec in hand and had doubled his advantage by the time they hit the pits. And with a quicker pit stop than Harrison, he pushed the gap out to 10 seconds when he hit Glen Helen on lap three.
And while Hickman looked to be on for a cruise to the finish for another Senior win with 19sec to work with, Harrison clawed back a whopping 12 seconds on the run to Glen Helen and had his deficit down to just 1.130sec by Ballaugh on lap five, amid speculation of issues with Hickman’s BMW.
Suspicions were confirmed when Harrison hit Ramsey with 7.877sec to hand over the reigning Senior winner as Hickman quickly fell into the clutches of Conor Cummins in third.
The Superstock race winner continued to drop back and on the final lap at Glen Helen, he was over 30sec down as Harrison powered further into the lead.
But there was no stopping Harrison as he scorched over the finish line with 53sec to spare as Hickman held on to take second just five seconds ahead of Milenco by Padgetts man Cummins.
Tyco BMW’s Michael Dunlop took fourth ahead of James Hillier, while Penz13 BMW rider Davey Todd made a big impression in his second year of TT action by claiming sixth place with a 131.49mph lap to boot.
Retirements included John McGuinness, Anthony Redmond, Rob Hodson, Paul Jordan, Stefano Bonetti, Paul Williams, Ian Hutchinson and Sam West.
Dunlop Senior TT race provisional results:
- Dean Harrison
- Peter Hickman
- Conor Cummins
- Michael Dunlop
- James Hillier
- Davey Todd
- Michael Rutter
- Jamie Coward
- Brian McCormack
- Dominic Herbertson
*Image: Double Red