Hillier takes ninth TT podium in another excellent day
June 09, 2016
James Hillier enjoyed yet another excellent day's racing at the Isle of Man TT Races on Wednesday with the Quattro Plant Muc-Off Kawasaki rider taking second in the Lightweight race, his second podium of the week and ninth in total, and fourth in the second Supersport race.
The Lightweight race started in the summer evening's sunshine and James slotted into second at Glen Helen on the opening lap but he was only 0.3s adrift of Ivan Lintin and by Ramsey Hairpin, he'd turned that deficit into a 1.4s lead. Indeed, with his first lap speed being 118.864mph, he enjoyed a 2.1s lead over Lintin but throughout the second lap, the margin ebbed and flowed and although his second lap was quicker, 119.432mph, James now found himself 1.4s adrift as they came into the pits to refuel.
However, Lintin's team got him turned around in double quick time and by Glen Helen third time around, James found himself over seconds adrift and with plenty of work to do to try and reel Lintin back in. It proved too big an ask though and he had to settle for second place, just over 11 seconds adrift. Nevertheless, it continued his superb record in the class which now reads one win and four second places in the five years it's been held.
James’ day began with the delayed four-lap Supersport race and with an opening lap of 125.524mph, he slotted into sixth place, only half a second adrift of fourth placed Bruce Anstey. It set the tone for the remainder of the race as just a handful of seconds covered the quartet battling for fourth to seventh.
As the race wore on, the Hampshire rider’s pace got quicker and quicker and although he was still in sixth place at half race distance, the final two laps saw him make his move up the leaderboard. And with a final lap of 126.968mph, his quickest ever on a 600, he leapfrogged both Anstey and Conor Cummins to seal fourth at the chequered flag for yet another excellent TT finish.
James Hillier: "I'm happy with the second place finish today but also a little bit disappointed as it was possibly our best chance of a race win. I was a bit surprised by our lap times as I hardly had any time on the bike although I thought we might have been closer to the lap record but it's nice to reward the team with another second place finish. It's been the same bike for about 4-5 years so perhaps it's time to retire the old girl now! I really enjoyed the race though as you have that bit more time to take things in on the little bikes."
“The first two laps on the 600 didn’t quite go as I would have liked and I was maybe trying a bit too hard but I was happy with the final two and although I didn’t have the pace to stick with Hutchy when he came by, when Michael (Dunlop) did, I was able to sit with him. He was riding really nicely so I really enjoyed the last two laps and to lap at almost 127mph on a 600cc machine isn’t hanging around!”
Pete Extance, Team Owner: "It's been another great day on the island and James had a superb ride in the Supersport race, lapping with Michael Dunlop to push himself up to fourth place and on the edge of another podium finish. It was a great finale to the day though with the Lightweight race and for the fifth year in a row, James and the team have finished on the Lightweight podium. The whole team have worked superbly today but it's safe to say the Lightweight machine will now be retired!"
Friday sees the final day of action with the six lap Senior race due to take place at 12.30pm.