Bradford’s Dean Harrison claimed his first Superbike victory at the Southern 100 as he dominated the Corlett’s Trophies 1000cc/600cc race on Tuesday night.
The 25-year-old - who won the Lightweight race at the Isle of Man TT in June - took the lead on the RC Express Racing Kawasaki on lap one and was never headed as he pulled away to win comfortably by 5.378 seconds from Tyco Suzuki’s Guy Martin, who narrowly held off Michael Dunlop on the BMW Motorrad S1000RR.
Harrison said: “I took Guy coming out of Church Bends; I got a really good run out of Church and got my head down from there. I rode as hard and as smooth as I could.
“I’ve done my job now so everyone’s happy.”
Martin, who is the outright lap record holder and current Solo champion at the Southern 100, revealed he almost came off on lap two at Church Bends.
“I was nearly off on the second lap; Dean came past and I was coming out of Church Bends and I thought, ‘right I’ll stay with him and see where he’s quick and where he’s slow, but my God coming out of there I was nearly on my ear,” he said.
“Tomorrow’s another day isn’t it and we’ll change a few bits on the bike tonight and a few bits in the morning.”
Ulsetr star Dunlop, back in action for the first time since he won four more races at the Isle of Man TT last month, said his BMW Superbike perhaps isn’t best suited to the 4.25-mile Billown course.
“The bike’s quick but the engine just doesn’t suit here the way the bike works,” he said. “We’re just developing things and we’re going back and checking things over.”
Manx rider Dan Kneen finished fourth on the Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki after getting the better of Russ Mountford, while Lincolnshire’s Ivan Lintin rounded out the top six.
Saintfield man Davy Morgan was a retirement on lap four, while Seamus Elliott took sixth place behind James Cowton.
Ramsey’s Conor Cummins was the first 600cc rider across the line on the Jackson Racing Honda, finishing 10th overall.
“It was a great run around - spot on,” said Cummins, who was back to his best at the TT in June as he took the runner-up spot in the Senior race.
“The Honda’s a brilliant little bike and thanks to the Jackson Racing guys who have given me a brilliant bike today.”
Dunlop, who started from pole position, was down in fifth place at the end of the opening lap of seven as he chased Harrison and Martin.
He quickly made headway to slot into third behind Martin on lap two and gradually reeled in the Suzuki star as Harrison extended his advantage at the front.
Dunlop clawed back the deficit to Martin but was unable to find a way past as the Lincolnshire star held on to clinch the runner-up spot by 0.4 seconds behind the impressive Harrison.
Ballymoney rider Dunlop had the consolation of setting the fastest lap of the race at 113.157mph.
Alaistair Haworth won the 400cc Supersport race from Dave Taylor and Dave Corlett, while Northern Ireland’s Paul Robinson was the leading 125cc rider on his Aprilia.
Corlett’s Trophies 1000cc/600cc race: 1 D Harrison, 2 G Martin, 3 M Dunlop, 4 D Kneen, 5 R Mountford, 6 I Lintin, 7 J Cowton, 8 S Elliott, 9 R Kneen, 10 C Cummins. Fastest lap: M Dunlop 113.157mph.