James Hillier’s campaign at the 2018 Isle of Man TT Races ended on a disappointing note on Friday afternoon when the Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider was forced to retire from the Senior race, the final event of this year’s meeting.
The 33-year old came into the race in confident mood after taking two podiums and two other top five finishes earlier in the week and with good conditions all around the 37.73-mile Mountain Course, the entire team were more than hopeful of another podium position.
However, despite a great start - which put him into fourth place at Glen Helen on the opening lap and only two and a half seconds behind third placed Michael Dunlop and four and a half seconds adrift of race leader Dean Harrison - the Hampshire rider was forced out of the race just four miles later after the bike bottomed out at the Bottom of Barregarrow.
“I knew the pace was going to be hot today and whilst 134-135mph was probably going to be out of my reach, I felt I could have pushed for the final podium position,” Hillier said speaking to bikesportnews.com. “I made a conscious effort to have a real good go on the first lap and felt like I’d put a good first sector together which was borne out in the time at Glen Helen.
“I was just settling into the race but when I went through the Bottom of Barregarrow, the sump cracked although initially I thought it may have been the tyre as there was a lot of smoke when I looked back. I pulled in at Westwood but my race was over before it had really begun.
“It’s a real disappointing way to end the fortnight but I’ve had two podiums and two more top five finishes so it’s been a good event and the team, as always, have done a brilliant job.”