Mar-Train rider confident he’ll be up to speed with the new R1 in time for Dundrod.
BRADFORD racer Dean Harrison is confident that he’ll be able to challenge for wins at the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix as he continues testing and development on the new Yamaha R1.
The 26-year-old has had mixed fortunes so far this season on the Superbike and Superstock machines, as both team and rider experiment with set-up and adjust to new electronics.
Harrison’s best performances however, have highlighted the huge potential of the Japanese machine, with wins at Scarborough and a 130mph lap in the Senior TT.
Dean said: “We’ve had a few teething problems with the R1 but it’s no different to any new bike. The most important thing is that we’re getting quicker with every meeting.
“We’re right where we expected to be and I’m doing loads of miles on the bike between now and the Ulster. I’ll be out at the Southern 100 and Scarborough, plus we’ve got some test sessions lined up as well.
“I’m looking forward to the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix because I know we’ll be on the pace and I think the track will really suit the bike. It’s a fast circuit but it’s really smooth with a consistent surface I think that’s going to be perfect for the Yamaha.
“I should be on the pace in all classes really as we’ve already got the 600 sorted. It’s ready to race, so the focus will be on the big bikes and making them as competitive as possible to challenge for the top step.”
Harrison came close to his first win at Dundrod in 2014, missing out by just 0.001 seconds in the Superstock race to Dan Kneen, but he insists he’s under no pressure ahead of this year’s races.
“I’m happy with where we are and I’ve got a great team behind me in the Mar-Train boys, so that helps ease any pressure or stresses as they come up.”
Harrison’s comments came as Metzeler enter their third year as title sponsor of the Ulster Grand Prix.
Enrico d’Aloja, Brand Manager at Metzeler said: “The Ulster Grand Prix is one of the world’s most iconic road races. It has a fantastic heritage and attracts tens of thousands of fans every year, so we’re delighted to continue our support.
“We’re also really pleased to have Dean representing our brand on Metzeler tyres. He’s an exciting young talent and he has a great chance to make it onto the podium once again this year, so watch this space.”
Noel Johnston, Clerk of the course at the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix said: “It’s great to have Metzeler on board for another year as our title sponsor, their support over the last two seasons has been fantastic and we look forward to working with them into the future.
“Of course they will also be providing tyres for a host of top names, including Dean and we’re all hoping to see him at the sharp end again this year. He certainly has the talent and the determination to do it, so keep an eye out for him this August.