James Hillier has said he’s feeling sharper ahead of this year’s Isle of Man TT after a strong run at the Vauxhall International North West 200.
The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider took a podium finish in Thursday’s Supersport race as well as a brace of top tens on Saturday as he prepares for his biggest event of the year.
However, the week ended in disappointment as he was forced to retire from the feature Superbike race with brake issues on the second lap.
“I feel sharper in myself, it’s definitely helped doing some short circuits before,” Hillier told MCN. “
The behaviour of the bike and balance of the bike is working really well. While there are a few chicanes here there are a few areas where you can upset the balance with the crests like turns one and two and Black Hill and that highlights issues that can definitely benefit us at the TT. We’ve got to take what we can from it, it’s by no means the same as the TT but the bikes are fast. I’ve got no excuses!
“I was disappointed with the Superbike race, we retired with a front brake issue, but all in all it’s been good for me. We’ve been top ten consistently and got a podium in Supersport which is good for me. We’ve made progress with the bike which is good for TT. The island is obviously a little different to here, but we’ve got some things to try and I’m feeling good.
“I sat back a bit in the Supersport race on Thursday as it’s very hard to see your markers, so I let them wear themselves out a bit. On lap three I went for it and it split up a bit then. Jessopp had broken away a bit, I was hoping to draw them back in but we were too late. I really enjoyed it, surprised myself a bit, I felt quite strong. I felt strong on the stocker too which is good, and the Superbike.”
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