Fresh from their extremely successful visit to the International North West 200 road races, James Hillier and Quattro Plant Wicked Coatings Kawasaki are heading to the Isle of Man TT with the Hampshire rider looking to continue his rich vein of form.
Last week’s meeting in Northern Ireland saw the 34-year-old take his maiden victory, and with 12 TT podiums already to his name he’s a firm favourite for honours around the extremely challenging Mountain Course where he’ll again contest the Superbike, Supersport and Superstock classes.
It was in 2008 when Hillier made his debut at the 37.73-mile circuit, immediately winning the Newcomers Trophy. Since then he’s established himself as one of the leading and most consistent competitors at the meeting, having campaigned Kawasaki machinery in all but one of those years.
His first podium came in the 2012 Lightweight race and the following year he took his single TT victory to date in the same race. Hillier has finished on the podium at least once in each of the last seven years. Indeed, the last four years alone have seen him capture no fewer than eight podiums.
With an astonishing record of 51 finishes from his 55 race starts, 40 of those being inside the top ten, last year saw James finish in the top five in all four of the races he finished with third position coming in both the Superbike and Supersport races.
His podium haul now reads one win, six second-place finishes and five in third but his recent performances at the North West 200 on the new Kawasaki ZX-10RR and Kawasaki ZX-6R prove he’s riding better than ever and well placed to better his already impressive TT results.
He’s again entered five races this year – the RST Superbike, the Dunlop Senior, the RL360 Superstock and two Monster Energy Supersport encounters – and is now eager to get his campaign under way.
James Hillier said: “Preparations have gone really well these last few months and culminated last week with the success at the North West 200 where I was competitive in both the wet and dry and obviously delighted to get my first win.
“I was competitive on all of the bikes although I’m still searching for that last little bit on the Superbike. But the new Kawasaki ZX-10RR is superb, so we’ll look to take full advantage of practice week to get it dialled in further.
“The TT is my main event of the year and while the podiums in recent years have been great, I really want to get back onto the top step this year so race wins are what I’m really after in 2019. The team have been brilliant as always and we’ll all be giving 100% so let’s see what we can do.”
Pete Extance, team owner, said: “After a fantastic week at the North West 200 and Man of the Meeting award, James has really given himself a boost of confidence at the perfect time as we head to the Isle of Man TT. James is in a good place and for sure that will help our quest for more TT wins and podiums.”
The first practice session is scheduled to take place on the Mountain Course on Saturday 25th May with the opening six-lap RST Superbike race due to get under way at 12 noon on Sunday 1st June.