Despite the superb weather and the rapid lap times being laid down by some of his rivals, James Hillier has adopted his usual disciplined and methodical manner so far during practice week at the TT 2018 , preferring instead to build his pace up gradually and ensure he's ready when it matters most - on race day.
The Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider has thus far been on the leaderboard in all of the classes, setting the eighth fastest time in Superbikes (129.181), sixth in Superstock (128.110) and fourth in Supersport (124.919), concentrating on race set-up and race pace.
"I'm just working my way through practice week like every other year and not worrying about what anyone else is doing," Hillier told bikesportnews.com. "We keep trying different stuff on all of the bikes and all of the changes we're making are in the right direction so we're making good progress. I did close to 125mph on the 600 last night, which was in heavy traffic, and that's ready to race now.
"I set off with Michael (Dunlop) last night on the Superbike and it was clear that he wanted to put a fast lap in straightaway so I just let him get on with it. The big bike wasn't quite right so I rode it up to a certain limit and no more. It's mainly the balance of the bike I'm working on and each time I go out it gets better. The overall feel of the lap is what I'm working on, rather than one specific section, and it's always a compromise but it's about making the bike that bit easier to ride.
"I'm not that bothered with the speeds of what everyone else is doing - people like Dean (Harrison) are clearly in a good place but Saturday's when it counts so I'll just let them get on with it. There's a limit but I know what I can do around here and rather than banging in one really fast lap, I'm working on race pace across the whole six laps."
"I'll do my own thing during practice and then get my head down on the first lap on Saturday and see what my pit board tells me. Every lap feels better it so hopefully I'll be able to give them a run on Saturday but the pace is going to be hot and all of the races are going to be fast - very fast..."