Road Racing News

TT 2019: Hillier Up’s Total Of TT Podium Finishes To 14

Equalling the amount of TT podium finishes claimed by legends such as Robert Dunlop, Stanley Woods and Siegfried Schauzu, TT 2019 saw James Hillier take his TT rostrum finishes total to 14, to further consolidate his position as one of the modern day Mountain Course greats.

Fourth within the RST Superbike race, the opening Monster Energy Supersport encounter would see Quattro Plant Wicked Coatings Kawasaki’s Hillier, come agonisingly close to a second TT victory.

Ultimately second to new TT champion Lee Johnston, just 3.64 seconds behind the Ashcourt Racing rider, the 2013 Lightweight TT champ was philosophical in defeat, plus had many positives to take into the remainder of race week, including leading the Kawasaki challenge.

Photo by Mark Corlett

The second Monster Energy Supersport race, ran over just two laps, saw Hillier produce another accomplished, top quality performance on route to finishing third, finishing under five seconds behind race winner Peter Hickman.

7th within the Royal London 360 Superstock race, he additionally finished a battling fifth in the six lap Dunlop Senior race, fighting his way back to a five finish, having stood 11th at the completion of lap 1, largely due to an early overshoot error at Ballacraine.

Photo by Nick Wheeler

Candidly reflecting on last Friday’s drama filled Senior race, 14 times TT podium finisher Hillier stated:

“I caught a bump going into Ballacraine on the first lap just as I hit my braking marker, and it kicked the rear wheel up into the air which meant I had to release the brake. I had little option but to run straight on and it obviously cost me loads of time.

I really didn’t enjoy the lap and, to be honest, I was going to pull in at the end of the lap but then I thought about my record of finishing races around here so I decided to plug away.

I’m glad I did as I started to enjoy the race again and slowly but surely, I was able to work my way up the leader board.”

Hillier continued:

“I could see it was close between Davey (Todd) and myself and the gap stayed pretty constant on the final lap, so I had to keep pushing. I didn’t go crazy and rode within myself but it was a good lap and to come from 21st to fifth is pretty pleasing.

Obviously I came here to win so I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t, but overall it’s been a good week with some good results, the highlights being two podiums, and a big thanks to the team as always.”

In just over two months, Hillier is set to return to Manx shores for the Classic TT Races, whilst Quattro Plant Wicked Coatings Kawasaki’s next International roads stint potentially could arise in November at the Macau Grand Prix.

Words by Stevie Rial

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