Dean Harrison wins 2016 Geoff Duke Trophy

Dean Harrison dominates Geoff Duke Trophy – Brad Vicars Takes Newcomers Award
Dean Harrison - Geoff Duke Trophy winner 2016
Dean Harrison – Geoff Duke Trophy winner 2016

Dean Harrison has secured the prestigious Duke Road Race Rankings Championship for 2016 becoming only the second Englishman to win the title since the series commenced in 2002.

Dean Harrison at the 2016 Ulster GP
Dean Harrison at the 2016 Ulster GP

The twenty-three round series which commenced at the Mid Antrim 150 National Road Races in Northern Ireland in early April and concluded at the recent Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix saw Dean making a cautious start to his 2016 season, his first with the Silkolene Engineering Yamaha Team, before dominating the Duke Road Race Rankings from late June.

Dean Harrison
Dean Harrison

The 27 year old Yorkshireman joined the rankings at the second round at the Bob Smith Spring National held at Oliver’s Mount slotting into third place slipping to ninth prior to the first International, the North West 200, recovering to eighth, then climbing back to third after the TT, topping the table after the Cock o’the North Road Races at Oliver’s Mount, round 10 of this year’s series.

Ivan Lintin
Ivan Lintin

From then on Dean headed the Rankings with Lincolnshire rider Ivan Lintin chasing hard to catch his Yorkshire neighbour, which was somewhat thwarted after a racing incident at the Southern 100, which left Ivan missing a number of rounds and him ending up second for the third year running. 2013 Duke Road Race Rankings Champion Michael Dunlop took third place.

Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop – Ulster GP 2016

Rising star Malachi Mitchel Thomas riding for the John Burrows ‘Cookstown’ Team headed the 2016 rankings after the opening round at Mid Antrim and remained on the top rung until the TT, despite his untimely passing at the North West 200, such was his early season dominance. Malachi finished in 17th place overall in this year’s Duke Rankings.

Ian Hutchinson briefly topped the rankings after the TT, prior to Dean’s ‘throttle hold’ on the Championship in the second half of the road racing season and after 23 rounds emerging as a worthy winner, becoming only the seventh rider to see his name engraved on the coveted Geoff Duke Trophy since the Championship Series started in 2002.

Dean Harrison
Dean Harrison
2016 Duke Road Race Rankings Championship rankings
  1. Dean Harrison 2690
  2. Ivan Lintin 1790
  3. Michael Dunlop 1735
  4. Derek Sheils 1269
  5. Ian Hutchinson 1207
  6. James Cowton 1146
  7. William Dunlop 1127
  8. Dan Kneen 928
  9. Jamie Coward 897
  10. Michael Sweeney 851
Brad Vicars Takes Newcomers Award
Bradley Vicars - 2016 Duke Road Racing Newcomers Award winner
Bradley Vicars – 2016 Duke Road Racing Newcomers Award winner

Brad Vicars has been confirmed as the winner of the Duke Road Race Rankings Newcomers Award 2016. The Tadcaster youngster in his second season on the ‘roads’ finished in 11th position overall in the prestigious championship headed this year by fellow Yorkshireman Dean Harrison.

Brad rode in seven rounds of the rankings series this year commencing at the Spring National Road Races at Oliver’s Mount where he took a third in the Super Lightweights race. His next outing was at the Cookstown 100 where he claimed a third in the Supersport 600cc B Race adding a fourth in the Senior Support A Race.

The Cock o’the North Road Races, at his ‘home’ circuit, Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough, Brad claimed a ‘treble’, winning both legs of the Junior (600cc) B Races and taking the chequered flag in the Solo Open B Final 2nd leg.

Travelling over to the Isle of Man for the International Southern 100 Road Races, the 19-year-old took the winner’s laurel wreath in the Senior Support Consolation Race. Returning to Oliver’s Mount for the Barry Sheene Road Race Festival a pair of second place podiums in the SuperTwins races added to his points tally, as did a further four top ten placings.

His second venture to Northern Ireland at the ‘Race of Legends’ Road Races at Armoy in July saw Brad take yet another race victory in the Senior Support Race A, along with a second in the Junior Support Race.

His final outing of the 2016 season was at Oliver’s Mount, for the Steve Henshaw International Gold Cup Road Races, where he achieved a sixth and fifth in the Lee Pullan Trophy Super Lightweight Races and a 10th in the David Jefferies 600cc Cup A Final.

Overall in 23 races, Brad scored five wins, with five fastest laps, three – 2nds; two – 3rds; two – 4ths; two – 5ths; one – 6th and eight other top ten placings.

The Newcomer’s Award was introduced to the Duke Road Race Rankings Championship in 2011 the first winner being Ronan Pentony.

Sam Wilson took the award in 2012, followed by Conor Behan in 2013; Neil Kernohan 2014 and Adam McLean last year. Adam McLean finished 20th overall this year and Neil Kernohan 23rd.