BRADFORD racer Dean Harrison has been dealt an early-season blow, after contracting Covid 19.

The first round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship campaign kicked off a fortnight ago, and Harrison was due to compete in the second round this weekend at Knockhill.

However, after contracting the virus, Harrison won't be able to build on his opening performance, a race which saw him collect his first points of the season.

And, after an absent racing year, the Bradford speedster admitted his frustrations with the latest setback.

He said: "It's annoying more than anything.

"I tested at Knockhill the other week and I really enjoyed it there. I was feeling really confident this week, because as I've been once already, I felt I was one step ahead of the game.

"So, I thought I would have been able to have another go at performing well there, but unfortunately it's not to be.

"It's also adds to my frustration because of the year we've had. I wasn't able to race for a year because of Covid, and now I've got Covid, I have to sit at home for ten days doing nothing.

"Unfortunately, it means I miss out on a race week, and I will potentially miss out on some points too. It's just tough luck and I'll have to try and remain positive. I'll be back and ready for race week three."

Harrison's covid setback comes after he picked up a 14th place finish in the league's curtain raiser, at Oulton Park.

The Bradford man banked the squad’s first points of the year in Saturday’s race and made further steps forward on Sunday, despite retiring from the second race with a small mechanical problem.

Following a 14th on Saturday, the Bradford rider lined up 18th on the grid for Sunday’s opening race.

After a tricky opening lap where he dropped back to 22nd, he was quickly on the comeback trail and soon began clawing his way back through, enjoying some strong battles as he picked up a number of places to eventually cross the line 17th.

And reflecting on his performance over the weekend, Harrison said: "That bike hasn't been out for 18 months, so to get some time on it was great.

"And we got some points under our belt as well in the first race, which is always good. In the last race we had a mechanical problem, so we had to pull out of that one.

"To get some points on the board and to be in the top 50 percent of the field first time around is good, especially since we haven't been on the tracks for 18 months with the bike.

"Overall, I was very pleased with how the weekend went and I'm looking forward to the next race when I'm fit."