Dean Harrison wins the 2015 Bennetts Classic TT 500cc on the Isle of Man

2015 Classic TT: Harrison victorious in 500cc race

 

Taken from an article by Phil Wain. First published by Bikesport News on 29th August 2015

 

Dean Harrison won Saturday’s 500cc Classic TT, the opening race of the 2015 Festival of Motorcycling, with the Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta rider coming home ahead of last year’s winner Ian Lougher. Harrison’s team mate Lee Johnston took third as a number of expected front runners retired.


“Apart from the last lap when I had a bit of an oil leak, the bike never missed a beat and if you don’t have an oil leak on a Classic bike, it’s not a classic bike is it! I was a bit wary at the beginning with the tyres but once got into the race, everything just flowed and it was a really fun race,” said Harrison. “I didn’t have any pit boards and when I saw John and Ryan parked up, I started to try and work out who else could be pushing at the front and who could be a rival. I never really saw anyone during the race and just kept it steady. Conditions were good apart from a bit of drizzle on the Mountain on the last lap between the Verandah and Brandywell. I’ve been told Ian (Lougher) would have won the race had he not been penalised for speeding in pit lane but it serves him right, he should know better at his age!”

 

 

 

Dean Harrison on his way through Union Mills

 

Dean Harrison on his way through Union Mills.

Picture: Stephen McClements

 

 

 

 

Dean Harrison competes in the 2015 Classic TT 500cc

 

Dean Harrison leads the field

 


It was quickest in practice John McGuinness that led at Glen Helen on the opening lap by 1.1s from team-mate Ryan Farquhar, closely followed by Harrison, Lougher, Johnston and Michael Dunlop but by Ballaugh it was clear the Morecambe Missile was in trouble as he was down to fifth with Farquhar now leading by just over three seconds from Harrison.


Michael Rutter and William Dunlop were also in trouble stopping at Sarah’s Cottage and Ballacraine respectively and McGuinness was soon posted as a retirement at Parliament Square. There was further drama when Farquhar was reported as having suffered a similar fate at the same corner. So, at the end of a dramatic opening lap, it was Harrison who led with a lap of 110.463mph, which gave him a 15.8s lead over Lougher who pitted for fuel. Johnston was in third on the second MV followed by Michael Dunlop, Dan Cooper and Danny Webb. Just like twelve months ago though, Lougher was penalised by 30s for speeding in pit lane, dropping him back to eighth.


 

 

 

Dunlop was now leading on the road but Harrison was the man setting the pace and he was really pressing on, extending his lead throughout the second lap. Indeed, with another 110mph+ lap, his advantage over team-mate Johnston was now 18s, the duo both stopping to refuel. Dunlop was holding a good third from Lougher and Webb but Cooper was another retiree, coming to a halt along the Cronk y Voddy straight. The pit stops closed the field up and at Glen Helen on lap three, Harrison’s lead over Dunlop was only 3.2s with Johnston a further 14.3s adrift. Lougher was also charging, only four seconds behind the final podium place.

 

However, for the remainder of the lap, Harrison reasserted his authority back on the race and heading into the fourth and final lap, his lead was back up to 25 seconds over new second place man Lougher, who lapped at 110.729mph.



 

 

The winners

 

Left to right: Ian Lougher, Dean Harrison, Lee Johnston

 

 

 

 

Dean Harrison and Lee Johnston

 

Dean Harrison and Lee Johnston

 


Dunlop was two tenths of a second behind Lougher in third as Johnston dropped back to fourth but Webb’s good run came to end at the pits, the British Supersport runner retiring from fifth

 

There was no such trouble for Harrison though and he duly came home in first, the third different Classic TT winner in as many years. His gap over Lougher at the end was 26.8s as Johnston completed the podium in third.


Dunlop went out at the Mountain Mile on the final lap and that allowed Jamie Coward and Chris Swallow to move up to fourth and fifth with Keith Amor’s persistence being rewarded in sixth. Wattie Brown, David Madsen-Mygdal, Ivan Lintin and Phil McGurk completed the top ten.


 

 

Dean Harrison wins the 2015 Bennetts Classic TT 500cc on the Isle of Man

Dean Harrison wins the 2015 Bennetts Classic TT 500cc on the Isle of Man