JAMES Hillier and the Bournemouth-based JG Speedfit Kawasaki team completed their Isle of Man TT campaign with a fourth-place finish in Friday’s senior race.

Ringwood rider Hillier's third top-four finish of the week saw him take fourth the Joey Dunlop Championship, ending a solid week of racing around the Mountain Course.

He struggled with the handling of his Kawasaki ZX-10R early on in the six-lap senior race, putting him in the unfamiliar position of 12th.

However, Ian Hutchinson, who was battling for the lead with Peter Hickman, crashed on lap two, which brought out the red flag and the race was restarted over four laps.

With his mechanical gremlins fixed, Hillier banked an opening lap of 129.814mph, which saw him assume seventh place.

The Hampshire charger gradually improved and his second lap of 130.811mph moved him up to fifth. After a rapid pit stop, he overhauled Michael Rutter for fourth.

Hillier soon opened a 10-second margin over Rutter and, riding to his signals, he eased off on lap four with a final speed of 130.568mph.

However, Rutter was on a charge and almost pinched fourth, the gap between the two just 0.644 seconds at the finish.

Hillier said: “Fourth place isn’t where I wanted to finish nor is it where I should be finishing but I did all I could on the day.

"I’m not sure if I could have carried on if the race hadn’t been red-flagged as the problem with the shock was causing the bike to be a handful. I was having moments everywhere, including a big one at Ballagarey on the first lap.

“It really unsettled me and it took me a while to get going in the restart as it was still on my mind a bit. I gradually got into a bit of a rhythm and brought the bike home for a good fourth.

"I’m disappointed not to have won a race this week as I felt in really good form and better prepared than ever before but with a second and two fourths, it’s been a good week overall.”

Team owner Pete Extance added: “Straight away, James had an issue with the rear shock and only the red flag enabled us to fix the problem.

"He wasn’t quite on top form after the restart but got into a good rhythm.

“It wasn’t our best TT but a second and two fourths are still very strong results in a world-class field.

"On behalf of JG Speedfit Kawasaki, I’d like to pass on our condolences to the friends and family of Alan Bonner, Jochem van den Hoek and Davey Lambert, who sadly lost their lives this week.”