Dean Harrison second quickest in Superstock after the opening day of the NW200

Race Report
As the opening day of the Briggs Equipment North West 200 draws to a close, Honda Racing UK riders Dean Harrison and John McGuinness MBE find themselves inside the top five on Superstock Qualifying times.
As the trio of Honda riders ventured out onto the Triangle course for the first of two Qualifying sessions, it marked the road racing debut of the new for 2024 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP. Dean wasted no time in getting himself up to speed ending the opening Superbike Qualifying session in fifth. John McGuinness was hot on his heels in seventh. 
After a long lay off, Nathan Harrison focussed on easing himself back into racing and built into the day step by step. He rounded out opening Qualifying in twenty first before going three and half seconds quicker in the second Qualifying session to end the day in eighteenth. He targets five strong race finishes at this year’s event. 
It was in this same session that Dean really got the bit between his teeth and rocketed his Fireblade to second on the timing screens with an impressive lap of 4:21.525, under a second away from the Superstock lap record. With a few different things to try in Thursday’s sessions and convinced that there is more in the tank, Dean heads towards his first road race in Honda colours in a buoyant mood. 
John too delivered one of his best days at the Causeway Coast as he bettered his best lap time from the 2023 event by over three seconds with a 4:25.959 to place fifth. This impressive pace is also not far away from his best ever lap of the circuit, proving that there is life in the old dog yet. 
Tomorrow’s action for the Honda team starts with two further Qualifying sessions ahead of the opening race of the meeting. 

#5 Dean Harrison

I’m feeling pretty comfortable to tell the truth, we made a few little changes between the sessions which made a big difference to the bike and made the lap time come much easier. I think we can still do more and with a few little changes overnight we should be able to make another step forward. The bike is feeling good, we’re there or thereabouts and the track is getting better and better as the event goes on. A few little tweaks and then we can have another go tomorrow. We’re going pretty quick for the Stock class which is great and I think that there is more to come.

#1 John McGuinness MBE

It’s been a great day, the sun is shining and I’m riding my bike around the North West Triangle, what’s not to like! I’m in a really good place coming into this event, I’ve done loads of riding and we’re having lots of fun in the team. Yes, there is a tricky situation with the bikes but it is one of them things. We’re all in it together and firing in the same direction, getting on with the job with what we’ve got. It’s been pretty competitive today, I’ve bettered my times from last year and we’re touching 196, 197mph on a Stocker! I’ve almost lapped as quick as I’ve ever gone so we are in a really good place. 

#25 Nathan Harrison

After seven weeks off it feels great to be at my first race with the Honda team this year. It’s been a good first day, I’ve eased myself in nicely and we are just building bit by bit each time we go out. The bike feels good and I think we can make another step forward overnight too. I’m not placing any pressure on myself and the focus is on getting race finishes.