BRADFORD motorcycling ace Dean Harrison came third in the final race of this year’s North West 200.

The marquee event is held every spring in Northern Ireland, with Harrison a regular competitor.

Arguably second behind the Isle of Man TT in terms of prestige on the road racing circuit, Harrison had made a bright start to the week.

There were nine races at the event in total, with the first three taking place on Thursday evening and the rest occurring on Saturday.

Harrison’s new team, Honda Racing UK, did not have Superbike or Supersport machinery available to them at the North West due to supply chain issues.

That meant the Bradfordian and his team-mates had to ride Superstock-spec Fireblades in the Superbike class and Superstock races.

Harrison came an impressive fifth in Thursday night’s Superbike race, just a second and a half off the podium places.

And in what was always likely to be his strongest ride, he came second in the Superstock to round off the evening, and might well have won had he not made an error on the final lap.

That at least he ensured Harrison had one podium to his name, but he did not look like as if he would be adding to his tally on Saturday.

The Bradford ace was sat fourth towards early in the opening Superbike race of the day, threatening to make a move on Michael Dunlop in front of him.

But he was forced into the pits at the end of the first lap, as his Honda machinery failed him, and he retired from the race.

His biggest chance of a victory looked to be in the only Superstock race of the day, which got underway just after 3pm.

He lined up third on the grid, and managed to overtake Peter Hickman to move up to second behind Davey Todd.

Harrison was only half a second behind Todd after two of the six laps, before the leader started to pull away.

By the end of the fourth lap, the Bradfordian was still holding off Hickman for second, but he was then forced to retire again.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Dean Harrison was not having much luck initially on Saturday.Dean Harrison was not having much luck initially on Saturday. (Image: Derek Wilson Photography.)

That meant the feature race, the second and final one of the Superbike class, was Harrison’s last chance of success.

And he leapt in front of Dunlop off the line, engaging in a thrilling battle at the front with Todd and Glenn Irwin.

After a sensational second lap, which was the fastest-ever around the track on a Superstock bike, the Bradford man was just 0.7 seconds off the lead in third.

That gap increased to 1.5 seconds by the end of lap four, and in the end, the focus was all on the front two, with the lead changing hands more than once before Irwin claimed victory, less than half a second clear of Todd.

Harrison crossed the line to finish third though, just over three seconds behind the winner, and 20 seconds ahead of fourth-placed Dunlop.

Bingley racing ace Ian Hutchinson was also in action, taking a creditable ninth place in Saturday’s Supersport race on his Milenco Padgett’s Honda motorcycle.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Ian Hutchinson (4) holds off the competition on his way to coming ninth in Saturday's Supersport race.Ian Hutchinson (4) holds off the competition on his way to coming ninth in Saturday's Supersport race. (Image: Derek Wilson Photography.)

He is back in action after suffering a stroke last February, and had a sterling week in Northern Ireland.

As well as that Supersport top-10 at the weekend, he finished eighth in Thursday’s Superstock race.

Hutchinson was running in sixth in Saturday’s Superstock race by the end of lap two, but like Harrison, he was unable to make it to the chequered flag.