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Cooper and Hillier set for big year on roads
29 January 2013
Rising young road racing prospects Dan Cooper and James Hillier are set to kick off their bid for international recognition at the North West 200 in May.
Former 125cc British champion Dan Cooper has confirmed his place on the grid at the first big international road race of the year with the Centurion Racing team, while James Hillier has joined Irishman Steve Heneghan in the Quattro Plant Kawasaki colours for the 2013 roads campaign.
Last year, Hillier secured a terrific podium finish in the Superstock race behind Michael Rutter and Alastair Seeley.
The 27-year-old Bournemouth racer also earned a rostrum result at the Isle of Man TT when he claimed the runner-up spot behind Ulster's Ryan Farquhar in the inaugural Supertwin race on the Mountain Course.
Hillier finished in the top seven in all five solo races at the TT to wrap up fifth position overall in the Joey Dunlop TT Championship and underpin his reputation as a rider with a bright future in the sport.
Cooper made his North West 200 debut in 2012, achieving a best result of 10th position in the second Supersport race.
A British Supersport regular, Cooper will ride a Honda Fireblade in the Superbike and Superstock classes, plus a Triumph 675 and a Kawasaki ER6 in the Supertwin races at the NW200, TT and Ulster Grand Prix.
He is also set to partner Guy Martin on the Team Molnar Manx Nortons at the inaugural Classic TT races in August during an exciting year for the 24-year-old.
“I'm really looking forward to the North West 200, TT and Ulster Grand Prix as these are my main priorities for this year - I just can't wait to get started.
“The team are pushing the boat out for me this year and we are entering six races at the TT which means it's going to be a busy fortnight.
“They are building me a Superbike, so that will be the first time I've raced round there on slicks and hopefully we can lap in excess of 125mph on that,” added Cooper, who finished 10th in the second Supersport race at the TT last June, two years after he made his debut in 2010.
“I'm hoping to improve on my top ten finish in the Supersport race also but the faster you go, the harder it is to find that little extra time.
“I'm hoping I can get a couple of good results at the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix as well, as I led a race at Dundrod last year, and then later in the year I'll be teaming up with Guy Martin at the Manx Grand Prix - how good is that!”
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