Double podium joy for Hillier
James Hillier enjoyed a superb day’s racing at the Isle of Man TT races on Monday with the Quattro Plant Muc-Off Kawasaki rider taking third place in both the Supersport and Superstock races, taking his overall total of podiums around the Mountain Course to eight.
The morning’s four-lap Supersport race opened proceedings for the day and with his now customary strong start, the Hampshire rider was running in fourth place at Glen Helen on the opening lap and he maintained this position all the way round the first 37 and ¾ miles with a speed of 125.575mph.
He lapped quicker still on his second lap, 125.742mph, although he slipped back a place to fifth as the gap between fourth and sixth was just three and a half seconds. With a good pit stop and another 120mph+ lap though he regained fourth third time around and with his fourth and final lap being his fastest of the race, 126.041mph, he maintained his position to the chequered flag, the gap to fifth placed Conor Cummins just eight tenths of a second.
However, with second placed Michael Dunlop later being disqualified for a technical infringement, he was promoted up to third for his seventh TT podium.
With little respite, he was then out again in the afternoon, this time on the Kawasaki ZX-10R for the four-lap Superstock race and he was in the podium positions throughout. An opening lap of 130.486mph put him into third and when second placed Dunlop retired, he found himself in second. However, there was little to choose between James and Dean Harrison and there was never more than a few seconds between them.
With his second lap being a superb 131.354mph, James continued to hold onto second but going into the final lap there was still only 2.3s between the two Kawasaki riders. However, it was Dean who proved the fastest and he took the runners-up spot by 1.9s with James taking a fine third for his eighth TT podium.
“The day’s absolutely flown by and it’s all a bit of a blur to be honest but to end up with two more podiums is great! The 600 race went well although I am lacking a bit of something both with the bike and myself but I matched my personal best on a Supersport machine and I was happy with fourth. I normally miss out on positions by a few tenths so it was nice to have it the other way round for a change and to then get promoted to third was a nice bonus!”
“In the Superstock race, I think my first pitboard said ‘P5’ and then the next one said ‘P2’ and it threw me a bit. I re-focussed though and was third by the end of the first lap which soon became second. Dean was never far behind me though and I didn’t have the greatest of last laps as I seemed to catch backmarkers everywhere, some of whom were all over the place! It’s not an excuse though as it’s the same for everyone and to lap at over 131mph on a Superstock bike is pleasing and it’s great to have added two more podiums to my total.”
Pete Extance, Team Co-owner:
“After a slightly disappointing opening day on Saturday, everything’s turned around today with James taking two superb podiums with third place in both the Supersport and Superstock races. It was a close fight all the way with Dean in the Superstock race but we’re still happy with third and we’re now looking forward to another strong day on Wednesday.”
Photo credit: Dave Kneen /Pacemaker Press Intl.>
James again has two races on Wednesday with the second four-lap Supersport race due to get underway at 10.45am and the four-lap Lightweight race at 2.00pm.