Just like last year’s Senior TT race, Dean Harrison again had to give second best to Peter Hickman in Monday’s Superbike TT race as he finished in second once more, the difference on this occasion just 1.782s.
Having topped the leaderboard in the shortened practice week, Harrison was expected to set the pace on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki and that’s exactly what happened as he led at each sector on the opening lap.
However, his first lap speed of 132.483mph meant his advantage over Hickman was just 1.1s and although he extended it to four seconds at one stage second time around, the combination of a technical issue and strong winds saw him overahuled by the time he reached the pits.
“I had a really good first lap and the bike never missed a beat but on the second lap, it felt like there was a problem with the shifter or something as the bike was surging a bit,” he said afterwards.
“I let Conor go ahead as I didn’t want the bike to cut out with him so close behind but I mentioned it to the boys at the pit stop and it was fine again after that but obviously the red flag brought the race to an early end.”
The gap between the two riders was down to just 0.69s at Glen Helen on the third lap but the red flag came out just as Harrison had reached Ballaugh and the result declared at the end of two laps, giving the Bradford rider second place and his 13th TT podium.
“I was struggling a bit with the wind over the mountain and it was buffeting me around a bit and into the turns as I’m not as big as some of the other lads. I had a top end advantage over Conor’s Honda but he had better grunt and was getting out of the corners better so there’s room for improvement. We’ll get the boys to take a look at it and make sure we’re ready for the Senior.”