TT 2022: Bird strikes can’t slow Harrison

| | TT and Roads
Picture: Impact Images

Dean Harrison overcame a broken windscreen to take a strong second place in Saturday’s Senior TT race, the DAO Racing Kawasaki rider taking his fourth podium of the week.

The Bradford rider hit a large bird on just the first lap which affected him in the windy conditions over the Mountain and then hit another on lap five which broke his side fairing.

Nevertheless, he lapped at just under 132mph and was able to keep the pressure on eventual raced winner Peter Hickman, the gap between the two at the end of the six laps just under 17 seconds.

“I think it was somewhere near Handley’s on the first lap that I hit a bird, or maybe even a pigeon, and it came right through the screen and onto my helmet,” he said afterwards.

“I hit another on the fifth lap which meant part of the side fairing was flapping around and with the windy conditions, it made the race really hard; my neck and shoulders are absolutely killing me.”

“The screen kept tapping my visor during the race but that’s the TT, you can’t do much about a bird strike! All things considered, second place is brilliant and I can’t complain at all. Credit where credit’s due and fair play to the marshals for being out in all conditions all fortnight; to get the race on today is brilliant for everyone.”

The second place finish followed on from third in Friday’s second Supersport race, held over two laps, where he admitted he rode cautiously in the conditions where wind and damp patches were again prevalent.

“The wind was really bad up the Mountain Mile but it wasn’t a cross wind so because you knew the direction of it, you could kind of pre-empt it and be ready before you hit it.

“I was cautious through the damp patches on the opening lap but I’d rather be too cautious than not enough. Being cautious on the first lap enabled me to see what the track conditions were and go from there.”

Harrison’s efforts meant DAO Racing won the Team trophy and Kawasaki the Manufacturer’s award.