Unbeaten on 1000cc machinery at Scarborough since June of 2015, Dean Harrison has to start an ultra strong favourite for a memorable hat trick of Steve Henshaw International Gold Cup successes.
Crowned in August, the world’s fastest road racer at the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix, the Bradford based racer is enjoying his most tumultuous pure roads campaign to date securing thus far in 2017, 19 race wins.
Success in premier races at Dundrod and Billown where firm proof that the Silicone Engineering Racing rider, is becoming one of the most complete roads exponents within the marque Superbike class.
The undisputed current ‘King of The Mount’, it’s going to take performances of the absolute top, top quality this weekend to finish in front of the reigning Duke Road Race Rankings champion.
Main challengers to the four times international road race winner include Cookstown BE Racing’s Derek Sheils, who’s planning to return to Oliver’s Mount for the first time since last years Gold Cup meeting.
A proven front runner at the ‘Mini TT’, the reigning Irish road race Superbike champion has the undoubted capabilities to push lap record holder Harrison, same applies to 15 times TT winner Michael Dunlop.
Although not as proficient at Scarborough compared to for instance at Armoy, discount the 27 times international road race winner at your peril as he pilots the Bennetts Suzuki that he propelled in June to Pokerstars Senior TT victory.
Time and time again over recent years, he has proved that the impossible is possible, including mastering treacherous wet conditions around the mount on his way to Gold Cup glory in 2013.
Can he add to his already glittering international road race wins tally on Sunday? in my opinion it’s going to be a tough ask, at the same as stated above we all know what Michael is capable of when everything clicks together.
Others to keep an eye on within the upcoming big bike Gold Cup encounters include Daley Mathison, Dafabet Devitt Racing’s Ivan Lintin and Radcliffe’s Racing’s Jamie Coward.
The Hebden Bridge racer who starred at the Classic TT, wouldn’t surprise many if he chalks up series of rostrum finishes.
Event mainstays the Goodings brothers Mick & Mark, Brian Greenfield, rising star Mike Norbury are all capable of springing a surprise or two.
Whilst one of the most intriguing entries sees Immingham’s Craig Neve give the innovative DR Moto machine, it’s real roads debut.
The steed manufactured by Reynolds Engineering Ltd is designed and built to Moto GP specification. Carrying a 200 BHP R1 Yamaha engine, allied to all the other tricks and gizmos within it, it’s going to be interesting to see how competitive it is against the conventional Superbikes and Stockers.
Further depth to the entry is provided by the likes of Davy Morgan, 2016 Senior Manx GP winner Tom Weeden, David ‘Action’ Jackson, Phil Wakefield, Paul Gartland, Barry Furber, Michael Russell and the returning Craig Robertson who recently took part in a charity boxing match.
Overall a diverse quality entry for the 1000cc races, for the 67th running of one of pure road racing’s most prestigious and popular events, the Scarborough Gold Cup.
Words by Stevie Rial, Image by Charles Robertson.