TT winner Hillier heaps praise on new ZX-10R

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Isle of Man TT winner James Hillier says that all the pressure is on him for this year’s races, especially in the Superstock class, at the Isle of Man TT, after deeming the all new for 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R the best production machine on the grid for this year.

“I’m pretty confident that it’ll be the best Superstock bike available. I haven’t left myself any excuses, and if I don’t perform, especially in Superstock, then it’s down to me rather than the bike.

“All the races are a target for me – but especially the big bike races, with all three in play I think. The Supersport class is probably our weakest, but the new ZX-10R will give us a big step forwards with the Superbike and Superstock classes.”

The Bournemouth Kawasaki rider, who is also one of the ‘stunt doubles’ used by the Japanese firm for shooting their European promotional photos and videos, was one of the first in the country to ride the machine – and says he immediately felt it would leave him more competitive at the TT.

“Visually, it’s not drastically different, but technically it’s a big step forwards. Both the electronics and the engine characteristics are very different.

“It’s more powerful – not massively so, but what’s there is all mid-range and low down, where the old engine lacked a little. It was fine on peak power, but took a bit to get there, whereas the new bike will really help me out at the TT – in places like fast fifth gear corners.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer