Northern Ireland’s Mar-Train Racing team hopes to finalise a deal for a second season with Dean Harrison within the next few weeks.
Harrison, who clinched his maiden Gold Cup success on the all-new YZF-R1 Superbike for Tim Martin’s Lisburn-based team at Scarborough in September, joined the Mar-Train set-up on a full-time basis this year after selected outings on the team’s Yamaha Supersport machine in 2014.
He switched from RC Express Racing to the former British Supersport champions in a two-year deal to head up Yamaha UK’s official international road racing effort in 2015.
Nonetheless, team owner Martin told the News Letter Harrison could effectively move on next year if he so wished, although he remains confident the 26-year-old Bradford rider will commit to the team again after a promising end to the season.
“That’s our plan, to retain Dean,” Martin said.
“We had Dean over here last week and there were a few things we all looked at and we’re hoping that things will be sorted out in the next week or two.
“We need to move on and get the job done and there are a few things concerning development that we are trying to get a commitment on from Yamaha,” he added.
“Without giving too much away, it looks like we are going to have a pretty strong package for 2016 and we’ll still be Yamaha UK’s official team.
“The plan is for a one-man team but maybe we will look at bringing in a second rider for the Isle of Man TT again, similar to what we did this year.”
Harrison was unable to match his results at the major international road races from recent seasons as the team felt its way with the new R1, yet he did manage to record the fastest ever Yamaha lap of the Isle of Man TT Mountain Course at 130.025mph, finishing 11th in the Senior.
Looking ahead to 2016, Martin added: “Our aim is to get the R1 as good as it can be and then it’s up to the rider after that.
“The bike’s good because it won the Suzuka 8-Hours and it looks like it’s going to win British Superbikes with Josh Brookes.
“Yamaha are going back to World Superbikes as well with a factory team and they wouldn’t be putting that effort in if they didn’t think they could win,” he added.
“The pedigree’s there, it’s just about getting the bike dialled in to what we need on the roads.”