Rising star Harrison eager to retain title

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Dean Harrison used to stand on a fence around the Oliver’s Mount track peering over the top as his heroes raced by, wondering if he could ever emulate them.

Inspired by his father, himself a road racer, Harrison, as a young boy dreamed of mixing it among the road racing elite.

This weekend he will return to the Scarborough circuit as one of the brightest young talents coming through in the sport.

Fresh from a win at the TT in the lightweight supertwin class and three race wins and a second at the Southern 100 also on the island last week, he is ready to mix it up at Scarborough.

Road racing, dominated for so long by the likes of John McGuiness, Ryan Farquar and of course the ever popular Guy Martin is seeing an influx of young guns coming through and Harrison is one of those leading the grid with his team RC Express Racing.

He will be battling to retain his title as the Cock O’ The North, which he took home comfortably last year and will be racing three machines, in the 1000, 600 and supertwin classes this weekend.

He might be from the other side of the North York Moors, but Bradford-born Harrison has spent more time at Oliver’s Mount than most people from these parts could put claim to.

He told the Scarborough News this week: “I love coming to Scarborough. I have been going since I was born and have grown up going there. I have been that many times I just wanted to have a go.

“I can remember standing on the fence watching Dave Jeffries and Ian Lougher and they went and dominated road racing and then Carl Fogarty and Steve Hislop used to race there.

“It is the heritage of the whole place.”

Despite making a name for himself at the TT and Southern rounds - putting him at the top of the Duke Road Race rankings ahead of the likes of Martin and the famous Dunlop brothers - Harrison isn’t expecting an easy ride at Scarborough and cites local lad James Cowton as one of those set to be giving him a run for his money.

He said: “I don’t think Scarborough is dangerous and on a nice weekend I love it but I will take it as it comes. You can never be too confident in this game because anything can happen but we are riding well and the bike is going well.”

Other names worth watching out for include local boys James Neesom from Hunmanby and Scarborough’s Nick Anderson - both firing on all cylinders this season and gaining valuable experience with a view of taking on the TT in the coming years - Irishman Lee Johnston of British Superstock and Daley Mathison.

Harrison added: “Lee Johnston is a front runner and is probably the most experienced rider out of us.

“But James Cowton is always good. He is a very good rider and he is getting quicker and quicker. We have all been out to Ireland and he is going well.

“Ivan Lintin is also one that has been going the longest out of us so it should be a good weekend.”

Cowton was this week repairing and maintaining his three machines ready for the weekend after appearances at the North West, TT and Southern 100.

He added: “I will go and give it my best shot but what will happen will happen.

“I finished fifth last year so as long as we are improving and I come fifth or higher and better than last year I will be very happy with that.”

Whitby’s Justin Waring will be racing his own Moto3 Honda and a 1000cc Fireblade for VRS Performance Centre at this weekend’s meeting.

There are eight races on the Saturday and Sunday, with the addition of the race of the weekend - the Cock O’ The North.

It was first awarded back in 1955 with the winner back then being John Surtees.

Other names on the trophy include Bob McIntyre, Mick Grant, Steve Henshaw and Guy Martin.