Teri superbikes ace John Dean reckons a British title could be within his grasp after a promising start to the season at Brands Hatch.
The 20-year-old speed merchant took time to become accustomed to his new Suzuki bike at the famous Kent circuit, but after a pre-race nightmare he climbed from 35th in the starting grid to claim a respectable eighth-place finish.
After clocking the second-fastest lap time, Dean thinks growing familiarity with his new machine can breed success at the end of the National Superstock 600 Championship.
“The run-up to the race wasn’t very good,” he admitted. “I struggled with my new bike in the qualifiers and crashed in the morning warm-up. I qualified in 35th from 38 and finished eighth, with the second-fastest lap along the way. I’m still learning the new bike, and in the race I really got the hang of it.
“I think I’ll do really well with it. It’s a good piece of machinery and has the potential to be at the front. I believe I have the potential myself to do really well this year, too.”
The 20-lap race was cut short to 16 due to a crash on the course, but Dean hopes his progress is not curtailed in what he thinks could be a watershed season.
“I didn’t score any points last year,” he explained. “Every time I got myself into the points, I had engine trouble or fell off. It was just an unlucky season. My ambition this year would be to win the championship, but with everyone having the same aim it’ll be a hard season, so the top ten would be great. I think it could be my best ever year.”