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James Hillier sets new Yamaha standard on the TT, 'we have upped pace considerably'

Tim Keeton/Impact Images
James Hillier, OMG Racing, Yamaha R1, 2023 TT, Isle of Man TT, action [credit - Tim Keeton/Impact Images]

James Hillier may not have been able to add to his haul of 14 podiums at this year’s Isle of Man TT Races, but it was another high-class week for the Hampshire rider with four top-six finishes taken, including fourth and sixth in the Superbike and Senior races.

The OMG Racing Yamaha rider also set his personal best lap of the Mountain Course on the last lap of the Senior, 132.703mph, his best ever standing start lap and his best ever lap in the Superstock class.

After a strong fourth in the Superbike race, where he became the fastest ever Yamaha rider with an opening lap of 132.358mph, almost 2mph quicker than the R1’s previous best, he bettered that in the Senior and it was, arguably, his best ride as he recovered from overshooting at Ballacraine.


It dropped him down the order to 11th but he fought back valiantly with an eventual sixth place the outcome as he circulated on the road with Conor Cummins in the closing stages.

“I knew the front three of Pete, Michael and Dean would be away at the front – what they’re doing is something else – but although my first pit board said P4, I struggled to maintain my rhythm,” he explained.

“It was one of those races in the early stages where it felt like I was going fast when the reality was that I wasn’t. I was making mistakes, not huge ones but small ones which were costly mistakes to make.”

“I felt I’d lost time at the first pit stop and was really pushing over the first seven miles at the beginning of the third lap, but I arrived at Ballacraine a bit quicker than before and with the full tank of fuel, I ended up going straight on.

"I had to do a full three-point turn before re-joining and thought that was that but when Conor caught me, I got going again.”

“It felt slower initially, but it really helped me in the last couple of laps and to come from 11th to sixth was pleasing, especially as I set my personal best lap on the last lap. It’s good to be the fastest ever Yamaha rider as we’ve upped the pace considerably.”

With his only DNF coming in the second Supersport race, his set of results, which also included fifth and seventh in the two Superstock races, continued his superb record around the Mountain Course which now reads 65 finishes from 70 starts.

“I’ve been in the top seven in all of the races I finished this week, and it’s been a lot better than last year. I knew the Yamaha was a strong package and we’ve put into practice what we learned last year. The speeds have been better, and the last lap felt pretty special as the atmosphere was superb.”

> 2023 Isle of Man TT Results - SBK, SSP, SSTK, STwins, Sidecar <

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