James Hillier was left to wonder what might have been in today’s Senior TT when an overshoot at Ballacraine on the opening lap ruined any chances he had of taking a podium finish.
The Quattro Plant Wicked Coatings Kawasaki ran on at the right hander seven miles into the opening lap and he was back down in 21st at Glen Helen on the opening lap although he did manage to fight his way back up to a creditable fifth place by the end of the six laps.
“I was on my usual line 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,” he said later.
I didn’t enjoy the first lap at all 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.”
The 34-year old had worked his way up to 11th at the end of the lap and with an improved speed of 128.810mph second time around on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR he moved up the leaderboard two places.
As the race wore on, he continued to move forward and the last lap and a half saw him locked in battle with Davey Todd for fifth place. There was little to choose between the two riders but on his final lap, he posted a speed of 131.597mph – his quickest of the week – which saw him secure fifth from his younger rival by 2.6s.
After the first lap, I started to enjoy the race again and slowly but surely I was able to work my way up the leaderboard. I could see it was close between Davey 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.”
The week’s results of second, third, fourth, fifth and seven saw James score 69 points which placed him in third overall in the Joey Dunlop TT Championship with the team also taking third overall in the Team Championship.