Kawasaki’s Hillier Takes Debut TT Victory in Lightweight TT
2013 Isle of Man TT Bikesocial.co.uk Lightweight TT Results
Ahead of the PokerStars Senior TT, the bikesocial.co.uk Lightweight TT got underway at the 2013 Isle of Man TT.
And for the first time since he started competing at the Isle of Man TT in 2008, England’s James Hillier was victorious, taking his maiden TT victory.
En route to the win, the Quattro Plant Kawasaki rider broke a record on the third and final lap of the TT. The 28-year-old Hillier posted an average lap speed of 119.130 mph on that final lap, allowing him to finish 33.5 seconds ahead of Kawasaki/Stuart Smith Racing’s Dean Harrison, who took his debut TT podium, and KMR Kawasaki’s Conor Cummins.
With perfect conditions on the 37.73-mile Mountain Course, it was Harrison who made the early running with his lead over Hillier at Glen Helen on the opening lap a minuscule 0.05s whilst Ivan Lintin was lying in third, four seconds further back.
By Ramsey, Hillier had taken over the lead and with an opening lap of 117.959 mph, he was 5.4 seconds clear of Harrison with Lintin still in third ahead of Cummins, Jamie Hamilton and Michael Rutter.
However, pit stop strategy then came into play and whilst the majority of the riders opted to stop after their first lap, Lintin, Chris Palmer and Ian Lougher were the three riders in the top ten who went straight through.
That gave Lintin the lead at Glen Helen although his lead was only 14s over Hillier with Harrison dropping to third as Palmer leapt up from seventh to fourth. Hillier was setting a ferocious pace though and ate into Lintin’s advantage all the way round the lap and as he swept across the line and Lintin pitted at the end of lap two, he was back in the lead by over three seconds. Lintin, Harrison, Cummins, Palmer and Jamie Hamilton completed the top six.
Going through Glen Helen on the final lap, Hillier’s lead was a more than healthy 21 seconds with Harrison in turn holding a similar lead over Cummins. However, Lintin was only a further second back and Hamilton just 6s seconds after that so the final podium spot was going to be fought out all the way to the chequered flag.
By Ramsey, Hillier and Harrison seemingly had the first two places sewn up, save for mechanical problems, but Lintin had now closed to within 1s of Cummins with Hamilton still in touch in fifth.
Hillier, number one on the road and in the race, flashed over the line with that stunning 119 mph+ lap, which was also quicker than John McGuinness’ old 250cc lap record of 118.29mph from 1999, and he duly took his maiden TT victory with Harrison in second for his debut rostrum.
All eyes turned to the battle for third and it was Cummins who came out on top by 4.2s, for his first podium since 2010, with Lintin’s second lap pit stop strategy dropping him back to fourth. Hamilton had an excellent ride into fifth with Rutter making it three KMR Kawasaki’s in the top six as he took a solid sixth.
Cameron Donald, Palmer, Lee Johnston and Ian Lougher completed the top 10.
2013 Isle of Man TT bikesocial.co.uk Lightweight Race Results:
1. (1) James Hillier, Kawasaki/Quattro Plant Kawasaki: 57:42.245, 117.694mph
2. (14) Dean Harrison, Kawasaki/Stuart Smith Racing: 58:15.763, 116.565
3. (10) Conor Cummins, Kawasaki/KMR Kawasaki Powered: 58:38.909, 115.798
4. (9) Ivan Lintin, Kawasaki/Mckinstry Racing: 58:43.135, 115.659
5. (4) Jamie Hamilton, Kawasaki/KMR Kawasaki Powered, 58:50.911: 115.405
6. (8) Michael Rutter, 2012 Kawasaki ER650/KMR Kawasaki: 59:01.401, 115.063
7. (2) Cameron Donald, Kawasaki/DP Coldplaning / TC Race: 59:26.172, 114.264
8. (11) Chris Palmer, Kawasaki/Mannin Collections Racing: 59:46.446, 113.618
9. (20) Lee Johnston TBC: 01:00:10.310, 112.867
10. (15) Ian Lougher, Kawasaki/CMS: 01:00:35.206, 112.094