James Hillier, Bournemouth Kawasaki parts ways after decade together

14-time Isle of Man TT podium winner James Hillier exits the Bournemouth Kawasaki team after a decade competing on the roads together

James Hillier

After more than 10 years and 14 Isle of Man TT podiums, James Hillier and Bournemouth Kawasaki have confirmed they are parting ways in pursuit of fresh challenges for the 2020 road racing season.

Hillier joined Bournemouth Kawasaki in 2009 after winning the Isle of Man TT Newcomers trophy in 2008 and since then developed a successful partnership together that yielded numerous trips to the rostrum at the blue riband event and 44 top ten finishes from 53 TT starts.

He was also a nine-time podium winner at the North West 200, including two wins in the 2013 Lightweight and 2019 Superstock classes, while he raced with Bournemouth in the National Superstock 1000 year-round too.

“James Hillier is the reason we started racing and he has been part of our team every single year,” Peter Extance said. “Despite changes having been made in BSB over the years, our road racing commitments have stayed the same with just James and something definitely worked so we should all be proud of these excellent statistics.

“It was James who had to ride the bikes but he will be the first to recognise the hard work of the team and a special mention must go to Phil, his crew chief, who has been with him for the whole journey.

“Without a doubt none of this would of been possible without all our sponsors but especially John Murphy at Quattro Plant and we all wish James all the best for the future – we’ll be more than happy to see him finish directly behind our Quattro Plant Kawasaki riders in 2020!”

Hillier, meanwhile, says he will take his time to choose what course of action to take next but is enticed by a fresh challenge.

“There’s almost more good riders than there are good rides at the moment and with the TT it has to be a right choice and it’s a long year to wait to have a go on something else so I don’t want to jump into something that might not be quite right.”

Bournemouth Kawasaki won the 2018 British Superbike Championship with Leon Haslam (under the Quattro Plant Kawasaki banner) but a torrid 2019 campaign saw it cede official Kawasaki support, prompting to withdraw from the series. However, it is expected to remain as one of Kawasaki’s leading entrants on the roads this year.