Thursday’s Isle of Man TT Races proved to be a day of two halves for James Hillier as the Quattro Plant Wicked Coatings Kawasaki rider claimed his 14th TT career podium in the opening Supersport race before picking up a Superstock pit lane penalty for exceeding the speed limit.
Having finished second in Monday’s first Supersport race, the Hampshire rider had been hoping to go one step better in today’s three lap encounter and started the shortened two-lap race well as he led at Glen Helen.
As the race wore on though, he found himself shuffled back to third as Peter Hickman and Dean Harrison disputed the race win. Comfortably clear of fourth place, the 34-year old took his second podium of the week though and was less than eight seconds adrift of race winner Hickman.
“I gave it everything I had in the Supersport race but I made a few mistakes at the beginning of the second lap and missed a few of my apexes so it’s a little bit disappointing although you’ll always take a TT podium,” he said afterwards.
After second place in Monday’s race, I was hopeful of going one better today particularly as conditions were good but I gave it my all and there wasn’t anything left in the tank. It was a hard race as they always are here now but I enjoyed the race and it was a good start to the day.”
The Superstock race later in the day saw him out on the bike he’d done the least amount of practice on although a strong lap earlier in the day set him up for the race.
Another good start saw him moved into a podium position at the beginning of the first lap although Michael Dunlop pushed him back to fourth as he pitted for fuel at the end of the lap.
It was here where his race ultimately ended as he was hit with a thirty-second penalty for exceeding the pit lane speed limit and it dropped him all the way back to ninth. He regrouped as best he could and with a 130mph+ lap on the third and final lap, he hauled himself back up to seventh.
Unfortunately, the pit lane penalty ruined the Superstock race and having seen my pit board go from P4 to P9, my head fell off a little bit!
“It took me a while to get going after that but the bike felt good so I pushed on as best I could and got a half decent finish. Hicky’s got that bit more than anyone at the moment and I need to find a bit more speed on the big bike but we’ve got one more race to go so I’ll have one last push and see where we end up.”