Dean Harrison and Richard Cooper will join forces on a pair of Boyce Precision Engineering/ Russell Racing YZF R6 Yamahas to chase Supersport glory at this year’s fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils North West 200 on May 7-13.

North West 200 News

The Northern Ireland based squad is run by Glenavy’s Alister Russell and backed by the Portadown-based engineering company.

“I rode the BPE Yamaha for the first time at the final round of the British championship at Brands Hatch, finishing second and third.” Cooper explained.

“Then I had two wins on the R6 at the Sunflower meeting and I knew the bike was the business. At Brands I was running at the front with Lee Johnston who is winning TTs and North West 200 races so I think I now have the package to do the same at the North West.”

Both Cooper, who became the NW200’s fastest newcomer in 2019, and Harrison were podium finishers at last year’s North West with Harrison finishing second in the CP Hire Superstock race and Cooper claiming third in both the Turkington Superstock and Anchor Bar Superbike races before securing a brilliant runner-up finish in the feature Merrow Hotel Superbike event.

“I had a great week at the North West 200 last year, probably the best week of my racing life and the event is at the top of my calendar now.” Cooper said.

“Last year was only my third time there but I like the challenge of riding a series of different bikes in the wet and the dry.

The Nottingham man doesn’t compete at the Isle of Man TT but Harrison will ride the BPE Yamaha at both the NW200 and the TT.

The Bradford rider finished on the podium of both Supersport TTs last season and was given the go ahead to find a new 600cc machine for 2023 after the DAO Racing Kawasaki squad he has ridden for in recent seasons pulled out of the Supersport class this year.

“I rode the BPE Yamaha during a test at Cartagena in Spain and did my fastest ever 600c time around there on it.” Harrison explained.

“The R6 doesn’t move about as much as the Kawasaki and on paper it should be quicker which will provide an advantage.”

Securing the signatures of leading roads star, Harrison and former British Superstock champion, Cooper is a major coup for Alister Russell who has worked as crew chief to Keith Amor, Cameron Donald, Guy Martin and the late, William Dunlop. Last season was his first as a team principal, running Ian Hutchinson in the British Supersport championship alongside outings at the North West 200 and TT.

“It was a positive start for the new team with Ian and we hope to build on that in 2023 with Dean and Richard on the roads and short circuits.” Russell said.

“It is great to have two top class riders, both proven winners, on board for 2023. Richard proved the potential of the Yamaha during the final round of the British Supersport championship at Brands and with Dean joining him in the squad we now have two riders who should be fighting for podiums this year. It is a big thing for the team to have riders of their calibre. We will do selected rounds of the British championship and a lot more racing this time around than we did last year.”