Hot road racing prospect Dean Harrison doesn’t believe the grass is always greener on the other side.
The 24-year-old Bradford rider has raised his stock considerably between the hedges this season, rubber-stamping his credentials as a force to be reckoned with following a string of impressive performances.
Harrison, however, hasn’t allowed his soaring popularity to cloud his judgement as he looks towards a bright future in the sport.
The English rider may have a big personality, but Harrison doesn’t have a matching ego and is keeping his feet firmly planted on the ground, pledging to remain with RC Express Racing in the Superbike and Superstock classes in 2014.
He rode a Yamaha R6 this year for Ian Bell but Harrison has been linked to a Supersport ride with Northern Ireland’s Mar-Train Racing team next season, with team principle Tim Martin confirming last week that he intends to extend his involvement in the international road races to the Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix.
Harrison was coy when questioned about the possibility of riding for Mar-Train in 2014, but admitted he had been in contact with Martin and refused to rule himself out of the equation.
“I’ve talked to them, but I’ve talked to a lot of people,” he told the News Letter.
“But I’m not ruling it out - you can’t rule anything out, can you?”
His plans for the bigger capacity classes are more clear, with Harrison retaining his Kawasaki Superbike and Superstock machines.
“It’s all confirmed again for next year and I’ll have the same Kawasaki Superbike, although we still have to finalise whether or not our engines will be built by MSS Kawasaki again, which I hope they will,” he said.
“RC Express own all the bikes and I’ll be with them next year, but we’re talking with MSS Kawasaki at the minute to try and complete that end of things.
“I’m happy where I’m at and it makes sense to try and build on what we’ve learned this year, especially with the big Superbike. You’ve got these other so-called big teams but is the grass always greener on the side? I don’t think it is.”
Looking back at a campaign that has thrust him into the limelight, Harrison was thrilled with his results, which included a standout fifth place in the Superstock race TT in only his third year competing on the Mountain Course.
“The whole year has gone really well overall. We had a few niggly problems at times but I can’t complain about my results because they’ve been good all year.
“We’ve been strong everywhere and we’ve always been near enough up at the front, so everyone’s happy,” he added.
“The TT is obviously the main aim next year but we’ll be back at the North West the Ulster Grand Prix, plus the Southern 100 and Scarborough.”
Harrison will make his debut at the Macau Grand Prix next month but has wisely avoided setting any targets on his maiden visit to the infamous race.
“There’s literally no room for mistakes at all over there and you’ve got to be careful. You can’t even run on at the road-ends,” he said.
“I’m not going to Macau with any big aims.”