Quattro Plant Kawasaki team boss Pete Extance is confident James Hillier will be a major podium contender at this year's Isle of Man TT races.

Hillier has been retained by the official Kawasaki UK British Superbike outfit for the 2013 roads campaign and is joined by Ireland's Steve Heneghan.

Extance said: "It is great to have James back on board again in 2013. He has a great relationship with his crew chief and the staff in the team and has become part of the Kawasaki family.

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"I firmly believe James will be challenging for top honours on the Isle of Man in 2013.

"We are also looking forward to working with Steve Heneghan for the first time and we will be looking to help Steve improve his times at this year's TT."

Bournemouth rider Hillier finished a as the runner-up to Ryan Farquhar in the Lightweight Supertwin race last year at the TT and finished fifth overall in the Joey Dunlop TT Championship after finishing in the top seven in all five solo races.

He has a fastest lap of 127.828mph set in last year's Dainese Superbike race, which makes him the 17th fastest TT rider of all time.

Paul Phillips, TT and Motorsport Manager, Isle of Man Government, said: "James has steadily improved every year on the Mountain Course and I believe that he is now in the perfect position to be challenging for podiums and wins across all classes.

"He represents the next generation of TT stars and I'm sure will be a fans favourite for many years to come."