Harrison plans ‘more aggression’ over the Mountain at TT 2019

| | TT and Roads
Picture: Impact Images

Dean Harrison will approach this year’s Isle of Man TT Races exactly as he did in 2018 but admits he needs to ride more aggressively over the Mountain, the section of the course where he lost time to chief rival Peter Hickman last year.

Continuing with the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki team for a fourth year, Harrison has reaped the benefits from also competing in the British Superbike Championship where he’s made great strides forward and last year’s TT saw him pick up his second victory with a superb performance in the second Supersport race as well as breaking the Superbike lap record from a standing start.

He only narrowly missed out on a second victory in the Senior where he lapped at 134.918mph so what can we expect from him in June this year?

“My attitude to this year’s TT will be the same as always and what will be will be. There’s no point thinking any other way as anything – literally anything – can happen during a TT race,” said Harrison, speaking to bikesportnews.com.

“I’ll prepare in the same way as before and we’ve already had a good test and put in plenty of miles at Monteblanco and Portimao.

Some people may say it’s going to be a three-way battle again between Peter, Michael and myself but so many factors can come into play, not least the weather, and things change year on year so you’ve got to consider all the other riders as well.

“This time last year, I said I needed to improve in each sector and that’s what I did but the main reason was having a better bike. We had a nightmare in 2017 with engines and I used a stock engine in the races so knew I’d be in a stronger position last year with a better engine.

“That’s how it panned out but Peter was quicker over the Mountain than me so if I’m going to overcome that this year, I’ve got to ride more aggressively up there.

“The first two thirds of the course suit both me and the bike but I’m not such a fan of big, wide open spaces like you have up on the Mountain. It’s the same with somewhere like Silverstone – it drives me insane riding there! But I need to overcome that if I’m to improve and find more time.”

As well as his victory last year, Harrison led the Superbike race before retiring and also took three more podiums in the two Supersport races and Senior and would love a repeat performance this time around.

I was over the moon to get my second win in 2018 and the aim now is to win a big bike race. I’m not a million miles away and we’ve a new bike this year which should put us in an even better position.

“It’s my main event so of course I want to win and I feel that I’m equally competitive on all of the machines but you never know, I’ll just do the best I can on the day.

Harrison will be in his fourth year with Silicone Engineering who have now become the official Kawasaki road racing team and, like a number of other riders on the grid, he’s found a good environment that suits him perfectly.

“It’s my fourth year with the team and there’s no need to change anything. They give me everything I need, I get to race where I want and everyone’s happy. We have loyalty to each other and that’s important.”