Buildbase Bournemouth Kawasaki is the latest British Superbike team to confirm it will contest the 2009 Isle of Man TT.
It is the first time Stuart Hicken’s renowned team has appeared at the TT since 2006, when it achieved sixth and seventh places in the Senior and Superbike races respectively with TT regular Carl Rennie.
With additional support in 2009 from Buildbase, the team will be fielding James Hillier in the solo classes at the TT.
The 23-year-old excelled on his debut last year, with 17th and 19th in the two Supersport races. His results also saw him take home the prestigious TT Newcomers Trophy.
Hillier rode for the team at the end of last year, finishing third at the annual Stars at Darley event and eighth at the Mallory Park Race of the Year. This year, in addition to racing at the TT, the Hampshire rider will campaign a Buildbase Bournemouth Kawasaki in the British Superstock Championship.
‘I really enjoyed my racing at the TT last year and although it was totally different to anything else I’d done before, I totally loved it.’
‘Once I got going, I started to piece the course together and I was delighted with the results I achieved. I just rode steady and concentrated on learning the course and steadily improving my lap times, which was an approach that paid dividends.’
‘Before TT ‘08 had even finished, I’d decided that I wanted to return and to come back with a great team like Buildbase Bournemouth Kawasaki is brilliant. Riding in all classes will give me plenty of track time and I want to build on what I learned last year and progress even more.’
Team Principle Stuart Hicken, a former Manx Grand Prix competitor, added:
‘The TT has always been the best pure road race in the world and it remains a great occasion for all motorcyclists.’
‘We’ve got an excellent package in place for the 2009 season and it will allow us to compete at both the short circuits and the road races. I’m delighted to have welcomed James into our team and equally delighted to be back at the TT.’
‘There are some good, young road racers out there and he showed his class and talent last year with some excellent performances. There’ll be no pressure on him and we’re hoping for some good, consistent rides with a few surprises along the way.’
Isle of Man Tourism and Leisure Minister Martyn Quayle said:
‘It’s always great to see a newcomer’s progress in their first TT and James Hillier performed really well in his debut year.’
‘Everyone in the Island connected with racing is looking forward to welcoming him back in 2009 and he’ll definitely be one of the riders to watch. It’s also great to see Buildbase Bournemouth Kawasaki back and their return to racing in the Island reflects the growing credibility and standard of the event.’