Road Racing News leading road racer of 2017 award goes to ……… Ulster GP lap record holder Dean Harrison.
Bradford’s Harrison has jumped up more than a few levels in 2017 aboard the Silicone Engineering Racing Kawasaki’s, firmly implementing himself as one of a very select group of riders capable of winning on any day at the blue riband international meetings.
Dominant again this season at Oliver’s Mount, just some of multiple prodigious highlights at the mount included setting a blistering new outright lap record of 1 minute 43.362 seconds on his way to a fourth successive Cock O’The North feature race crown.
Additionally Bob Smith Spring Cup champion for the first time, winner of the opening big bike and Supersport encounters at the 67th Scarborough Gold Cup, his growing legendary status at Scarborough is further showcased by the fact that he now has over 72 wins at England’s only real roads venue.
Looking back on his season at the internationals, several excellent performances during the North West 200 which included a first Triangle podium finish in the opening Superstock race, gave the Silicone Engineering racer a timely confidence boost ahead of TT 2017, which would prove arguably his most productive TT venture to date.
Third in the RST Superbike and Pokerstars Senior races, alongside joining the very exclusive 132 mph club, for the first time he showed why many believe he has the capabilities to in years to come win multiple 1000cc races on the fabled Mountain Course.
Outside of the TT, added great moments from an excellent Manx roads season included a record breaking Superbike Classic TT success, Supersport wins at Billown and Southern 100 Solo Championship success for the first time.
The main highlights though of his tumultuous roads season, was at the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix.
Runner up in the Dundrod 150 Superbike race, Ulster GP race day began with another runner up spot this time within the Superstock class.
Following a battling fourth in the opening Supersport encounter, the blue riband feature Superbike race saw another rostrum finish banked, along the way setting a new outright lap record of 134.614 mph, which gives him the title of being the world’s fastest road racer.
Photo by Rod Neill
After his record breaking heroics, he went onto win a hard fought second Superbike race holding off tenacious challenges from Dan Kneen and fellow Manxman Conor Cummins.
This win takes his present total of international road race victories up to four. More significantly though the results gained at Dundrod played a significant role in wrapping the prestigious Duke Road Race Rankings crown for a second successive year.
Most recently a very creditable seventh in only his second Macau GP venture, all the promise of recent seasons allied to the backing of Silicone Engineering and Kawasaki, has all merged together in fine style throughout 2017.
In Road Racing News opinion the number 1 road racer of the year, expect him to be in prime contention for more international wins in 2018, plus of course as usual be in regular contention for victories at plenty at Oliver’s Mount!
Words by Stevie Rial