Friday’s Isle of Man TT racing started off with the Bike Nation Lightweight TT, where the field is comprised of two-cylinder four-stroke machines that cannot have more than 650cc in engine capacity — as such, the field is dominated by Kawasaki Ninja 650 sport bikes.
A race fit for grooming the future talent of the Isle of Man TT, the Lightweight TT sees the big name stars in its ranks as well, though the field is comprised mostly of greener riders. One man noticeably absent from the Lightweight TT grid was Michael Dunlop, who decided to sit out the race and focus on the day’s later race, the blue-ribbon event, the Senior TT.
Taking his first IOMTT race win, 25-year-old Dean Harrison finally found the top step of the TT podium (he was second in the Superstock TT), earning a great result for what has been a fantastic showing for the young racer this fortnight.
Dean has the special honor of being part of the first father-son TT winners in a single TT fortnight, as his father Conrad Harrison won the first Sidecar TT this week, in addition to finishing second in Race 2 for the sidecars.
Controlling from the start, Harrison was chased by Lightweight TT lap record holder James Hillier. Though Hillier’s pace was strong, Harrison maintained a 10-second gap after the first lap, and stretched that lead to near 18 seconds at Glen Helen on the third lap.
Hillier was closely followed by James Cowton, though Cowton could never get closer than 1.4 seconds, due largely in part by his team’s great pit stop after the first lap.