Triple British Supersport champion Karl Harris says his debut at the Isle of Man TT races this year is part of a 'long-term' plan to compete in the legendary road race.
Harris, a former World Supersport and British Superbike contender, is competing at the TT for the first time this year for the SMT Honda team in the Superstock and Superbike classes.
On Thursday evening, he took over as fastest newcomer from young Northern Ireland prospect and KMR Kawasaki rider Jamie Hamilton, lapping at an impressive 119.017mph.
Harris has never raced on the roads before, but told Crash.Net
he has harboured an ambition to take on the challenge of the iconic 37.73-mile Mountain course for a number of years.a
“I've been wanting to do it now for a few years. I got in touch with the team and said I was interested in doing it and we just decided to focus on the TT,” he said.
“I'm doing the Superstock and Superbike races and obviously I'm looking forward to it – it's a new challenge for me.
“I'm not setting any big goals. I just want to try and learn the place and I've had a few tips from the likes of Conor [Cummins] and I've been around the course with 'Milky' [Richard Quayle].
“The course is awesome and to come straight here to the TT is a bit of an eye-opener as I've never done a road race before,” he added.
“But I'm looking forward to the races and I can't wait for it now.”
Harris maintains his maiden visit to the TT this year won't be his last as he targets a long-term strategy to gain experience of the unique circuit.
“I had talked about doing the North West after the organisers rang me up, but I just decided to focus on the TT and that's it,” he said.
“It's a long-term plan for sure. This year we've just come to learn the place and do the best possible job we can and in years to come you never know what might happen.”