James Hillier

James Hillier has had a love affair with the Isle of Man TT Races since the late 1990’s when he first attended the races on the pillion of his Dad’s motorbike. From that moment, he knew he wanted to race on the Mountain Course and win a TT, something he’s gone on to achieve. 

With all the attributes to be successful at the TT, Hillier has been one of the best riders for over a decade now. After coming to the fore in the Virgin Mobile Yamaha R6 Cup, James quickly moved up to the British Supersport Championship and this was the class in which he first tackled the TT in 2008. Former British 250cc Champion Jamie Robinson was the big-name newcomer that year and although he excelled with two top twenty finishes, Hillier finished one place ahead of him in each race to leave with the Newcomers Trophy.

Having contested every year since, Hillier has been unbelievably consistent and an incredibly fast and smooth rider wherever you witness him out on the course. His performance is a testament to his skills in managing and racing a motorbike and the preparation and dedication of the Bournemouth Kawasaki team for whom he rode between 2009 and 2019.

Pete Extance’s family-run team and Hillier’s own values were a winning combination and in the 58 TT starts they had together, they finished a remarkable 54. Those finishes included victory in the 2013 Lightweight race and 13 other podiums - which could quite easily have been more given his eight fourth place finishes - with Hillier standing on the rostrum in every other solo class.

His Supersport form, of late, has been superb and he’s been closer to victory here than in any other class but it’s Superbike success he craves for.The burning desire to try his hand on other machinery was the deciding factor in Hilliers’ shock move to the Rich Energy OMG Racing team in 2019.

Initially set to campaign BMW machinery, the team ultimately settled on Yamahas for 2022 and although James took sixth and seventh in the RST Superbike and Milwaukee Senior TT Races, both team and rider expected more. Performance began to align with expectations in 2023, when Hillier took three top six finishes on the big bike and, more tellingly, upped his pace to 132.703mph to not only set a career best but also become the fastest rider on a Yamaha around the Mountain Course.

Last year’s result makes it somewhat of a surprise for many to see James switch to Honda power in 2024 but bridging the gap from his own personal best, to the 134-136mph speeds being posted by Peter Hickman, Michael Dunlop and Dean Harrison remains the aim, so the team must feel this is their best chance.

Hillier also showed his versatility at the beginning of 2023 when he competed in and completed the Paris-Dakar rally event, the first ever TT competitor to do so.




Ringwood, England

TT Debut


Race Starts


Wins / Podiums



61 Silver/4 Bronze

Best Lap Speed

132.703mph (2023)

Rider Guide