DAO RACING rider Dean Harrison made more steps forward at the seventh round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Cadwell Park last weekend.

Arriving in Lincolnshire with the realistic goal of three top 20s, the squad was looking to build upon progress made at Thruxton a fortnight earlier.

Qualifying 19th for Sunday’s race, Harrison got a bit beaten up in the early laps but managed to end the race 16th, just missing out on a points finish.

His lap time was only enough to give him an eighth row grid position for Monday’s opening race, but armed with a fresh strategy from the team he was able to run much better lap times and get away with a faster group, eventually crossing the line 18th.

Starting the final race in 20th position, he once again battled on and showed further improvements as he rode to another 18th place finish.

On reflection, Harrison said to the T&A: “I had a really good weekend to be honest; I know we only got a sixteenth placed finish but we I’m seeing my lap times improve dramatically, especially since the start of the superbike season. I was one point four seconds quicker than I’d ever been before at Cadwell and in racing terms that is monumental."

He added: “The improvements have come from riding harder, adding changes to the bike and tweaking things all the time. The team have been great around me and I’ve been a lot more confident in my own riding which always helps. I do feel I’m making significant progress on the superbikes now and most importantly; I’m enjoying it. It’s the toughest domestic championship in the world and I’m only going to get better."

Harrison was involved in a serious crash at the Thruxton superbike weekend midway through August, and he had a broken hand to show for it. The Bradford racer confirmed that it did cause him some discomfort at Cadwell last weekend.

He said: “I did suffer a broken left hand from my crash at Thruxton which meant I was riding with a lot of pain at the weekend. However, it’s something that you expect in this sport and you just have to get on with it. Thankfully, it’s an injury that can heal in its own time.”

Harrison returns to the track next weekend when he travels to Snetterton for the British Superbike Championships, and he’ll be looking for further improvement.

Looking ahead to it, he said: “I’ll have time to do a bit of endurance bike work in the lead up to it which will keep me ticking over nicely.

"Snetterton is the track I find the most challenging but I’m looking forward to it nonetheless. A top 20 finish is in the plans again, but I know it will be difficult.”