James Hillier is hoping to be able to make the step forward he came to the 2016 Isle of Man TT looking for with his all-new Kawasaki ZX-10R in Friday’s Senior TT after struggling to come close to the winners of the Superbike and Superstock race.
The Quattro Plant Kawasaki rider couldn’t hide his disappointment to finish so far behind Hutchinson in Monday’s stock race despite taking to the podium with a commendable third place.
He was also on for a podium in Saturday’s Superbike race until an electrical issue forced him to stop and reset the systems, leaving him to cross the line 11th.
Hillier had been hoping to be challenging for race wins on the big bikes this year but with Hutchinson and Michael Dunlop tearing chunks off one another as they trade the outright lap record, the rest of the field has been somewhat left behind.
“I tried my hardest but Ian is making us all look stupid!” he said after the Superstock race. “I wasn’t rolling anywhere, I was pushing hard and trying on lap one and lap two. I knew it was close with Dean, the guys had told me it was him I was dicing with, and I could have gone quicker in a few areas but not a lot. Ian was on another level today so hats off to him.
“The bike has the potential I’m sure it’s just taking a bit of work. We could have done with a bit of rain in practice week to slow everyone up as the good weather has given everyone loads of laps and time to perfect stuff and it’s showing now. Two people in particular are putting serious laps together and the rest of us are just riding around really.
“Our pace isn’t bad but it’s not quite good enough and we need to keep pushing and see what we can do on Friday. I want to be a bit closer.”