MOTORCYCLING: Dean Harrison and Michael Dunlop win at Southern 100

Dean Harrison (Silicone Kawasaki) leads Michael Dunlop (Bennett's Suzuki) and Dan Kneen (DTR BMW) in the Solo Championship race at the Southern 100 on the Isle of Man
Dean Harrison (Silicone Kawasaki) leads Michael Dunlop (Bennett's Suzuki) and Dan Kneen (DTR BMW) in the Solo Championship race at the Southern 100 on the Isle of Man

Dean Harrison claimed his maiden Southern 100 Solo Championship crown by taking victory in yesterday’s race at the Billown circuit.

The talented Harrison came home ahead of runner-up, Dan Kneen, by 0.131 seconds, with Michael Dunlop third on his Suzuki.

But it was Dunlop who set a new absolute lap record with an average speed of 115.707mph.

It was a good week for Dunlop and Harrison who both took a hat-trick of wins over the course of the meeting.

Harrison, Dunlop and BMW pilot Kneen each enjoyed spells at the front as they traded positions regularly throughout the feature event - but it was Harrison who made it to the finishing line first.

“I’ve been trying to win that race for five years and I’m over the moon,” said Harrison after his ‘big race’ success.

“Everyone is pushing really hard so it’s a hard race to win.

“The lead swapped and changed a few times but I just kept braking as late as I could and kept the head down.

“I had some bad luck issues with the bike over the last few days and missed two races but this makes it all worthwhile,” he added.

Also yesterday Dunlopsurpassed the previous best lap benchmark with a speed of 115.267 in winning a keenly fought Senior race.

The Ballymoney man enjoyed an advantage of less than a second over Kneen at the chequered flag, with Jamie Coward completing the podium, some 25 seconds behind Dunlop.

Dunlop also narrowly saw off Kneen in Tuesday’s opening 1000cc race and continued his fine form by winning Wednesday’s seven-lap Senior race.

Harrison won the 600cc opener on Wednesday and then got the better of runner-up Dunlop and third-place finisher Cowton in the second event for that class on Thursday, Dunlop having the consolation of a new lap record at 111.335.

Ivan Lintin took a slender triumph over Cowton in Thursday’s Supertwins outing to complete a double in that class, Rob Hodson occupying the final rostrum position.