A battling performance from James Hillier saw the RICH OMG Racing Yamaha rider take fifth place in the opening Supersport race of the 2022 Isle of Man TT races this lunchtime. Aboard his immaculately prepared Yamaha R6, the Ringwood rider was in the battle for third place throughout the three-lap race, just missing out on a podium by a handful of seconds.
Reduced to three laps on a revised schedule the opening Supersport race was held in ideal conditions around the 37.73 mile Mountain course. The organisers enforced a mandatory pitstop at the end of lap on to leave a two-lap race for the victory spoils. Hillier’s stop was the fastest of the race courtesy of some exceptional work from his pit crew at under 30 seconds and helped maintain his third place at the time and close in on the riders ahead.
As the remaining two laps unfolded the Dakar hopeful was overhauled by both Hickman and Johnston as the pace increased further. Working hard to maintain position it was a strong closing lap for Hillier, but not enough to close the gap on the Superbike TT winner, Hickman and NW200 Supersport race winner, Lee Johnston.
James Hillier, 5th place Supersport TT: “It’s frustrating, there’s a little bit more to come from me but the pace round here is so hot to get on the podium. We’ve got some information now to work from for Wednesday’s second race, not really any changes to the bike, just for myself to work from. Overall, I enjoyed the race, and it was good fun chasing Michael Dunlop after he came past. That’s two races done and two to go and the good thing about Supersport is we get another go to see if we can improve on fifth.”