Belfast Telegraph

Dark horse Hillier is aiming to hit the heights

By Paul Lindsay

James Hillier is an undoubted dark horse in the race for honours at this year’s Vauxhall International North West 200, where the Quattro Plant Muc-Off Kawasaki rider will be aiming for his first win.

Hampshire-based Hillier enjoyed an excellent season in 2015, scoring three podiums at the Isle of Man TT, where he also became the third fastest rider in the history of the event.

Now entering his seventh year with the team, the 31-year old has been competing at the North West 200 since 2010 and has a busy week ahead with eight races in store on the Quattro Plant Muc-Off machines.

Looking ahead, Hillier said: “I’m feeling good and ready to get stuck in. I’ve probably done more testing than I’ve ever done before, as we had a bit of work to do on the new ZX-10R, but I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.

“I want to give a better account of myself at this year’s NW200 and get back to the podium form I showed in 2012 and 2013. With the weather forecast also looking good, we’ve definitely got the potential to run at the sharp end.”

Last year, Hillier took a best finish of seventh in the Superstock race. He has two podiums on his North West CV, having finished a close third in the 2012 Superstock race before going one better in the following year’s Supertwin race.

The opening practice session for this year’s north coast event takes place today from 9.30am-3.00pm.

Belfast Telegraph

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