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Road racing Isle of Man TT

Harrison’s Isle of Man Senior TT “hindered” by double bird strike

Dean Harrison admits damage to his DAO Racing Kawasaki in the Isle of Man Senior TT race from a bird strike “probably did hinder” him.

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Just as they did in 2018 and 2019, Peter Hickman and Harrison locked horns over the win in the grand finale Senior TT – which was delayed a day due to bad weather on Friday.

Hickman ultimately won by over 16s from Harrison, who completed his first race of the 2022 TT on the slick rear Metzeler after switching following last Saturday’s Superbike contest over an apparent Dunlop tyre problem.

But Harrison had his Kawasaki’s screen damaged on lap one when he hit a bird, while a second bird strike later in the race damaged the bike’s side fairing.

“Oh, I hit a bird on lap one coming into Handley’s, it sort of smashed the screen,” Harrison explained.

“And obviously you know how windy it is around here, so the wind for the whole race just beating at my head, it was hard work from then on in.

“And then I had another bird strike on lap five that pulled the side fairing off. I was like ‘Bloody hell, I don’t need this now’.

“But the bike never missed a beat. It proves how well the bike’s built because it kept going and never stopped and the fairing stayed on.

“So, fair play to the lads, all the DAO team, I was just struggling with the wind. It’s bad enough with the screen, never mind no screen. So, it was just difficult.”

 

Asked how the bike damage affected him, Harrison added: “It’s the attention. With the screen flapping, it sort of unsettles your eyesight a little bit, it makes you struggle.

“So, it was just little things like that. It probably did hinder us a bit but not hindering us to win the race.

“We would have definitely been faster if we didn’t have that problem. 100%.”

Evaluating his 2022 TT, Harrison says he “can’t complain” having tallied up four podiums from five races.

He also heaped praise on his Metzeler tyre in the Senior added: “Mate, the tyre was absolutely fine.

“Tyres never missed a beat, absolutely fine.

“Obviously we’ve not had a week on them, I could have been a little bit better if I’d have had a little bit more time. But that’s life.”

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