Isle of Man TT: James Hillier hopes for better fortunes ahead of Lightweight title defence

Bournemouth Echo: TITLE DEFENCE: Ringwood rider James Hillier TITLE DEFENCE: Ringwood rider James Hillier

RINGWOOD rider James Hillier hopes to cast aside his technical issues in Friday's defence of the Lightweight TT crown on the Isle of Man.

Hillier, who represents Bournemouth-based Quattro Plant Muc-Off Kawasaki, shot to prominence 12 months ago with his record-breaking success in the category.

Having returned this year, the 28-year-old was in contention for a podium place in both the Superbike and Superstock classes but braking issues eventually saw him exercise relative caution round the testing circuit.

Today’s fifth-place finish in the Supersport TT Two represented Hillier’s strongest showing at this year’s event so far, having set the seventh best time in Monday’s Supersport 600cc race.

Leading after the opening lap of the Superbike section, averaging 130.092mph, worries over his equipment ultimately saw him fall back to ninth in Saturday’s opener, while 10th spot was secured in yesterday’s Superstock showdown.

Hillier said: "It has been a frustrating week so far and things just haven’t been going our way.

“I couldn’t have wished for a better start in the Superbike race but three quarters of the way round the lap, the brakes began to fade a bit.

“I had to start adjusting the brakes as sometimes the lever was coming back to the bar and at other times it went that far out I could barely reach it.

“Under the really heavy braking sections, it was really difficult and I ended up going down the straights checking to see if the brake was working which was far from ideal.

“The bike felt really good up until that point but after that the race became a bit of a blur.

“We’re definitely overdue some good fortune so let’s hope that’s the case.”

As well as competing in the Lightweight class on Friday, Hillier will also contest the six-lap Senior TT.

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