Junior Support race winner at the Southern 100 in 2013, the RAF’s Rad Hughes is the next rider to take part in Road Racing News, ten questions challenge.
Fifth within the Newcomers B Manx Grand Prix of 2012, his answers to the popular series of questions are as follows:
Q1: Favourite National Roads Meeting?
“The Southern 100. It’s long enough with evening practices so you can have a good catch up with everyone, and be able to have a sociable beer in the evening and a lie in. Fast circuit as well which appeals to me.”
Q2: Favourite Racing Bike?
“Favourite bike, I’ve enjoyed most bikes I’ve owned but the CBR 600 (Honda), I was loaned when I was without a 600 for the Manx in 2016 from James Cowton was spot on.
Bike never missed a beat and it, came with factory like support from Fran who couldn’t do enough to make sure it was immaculate for every session. I just didn’t ride it hard enough as wasn’t wanting to trash someone else’s bike.”
Q3: What’s the best part of competing on the roads?
“Best part about the roads is that you turn up, practice for ten mins, qualify for ten mins and then get into the racing. When your on a budget more practice sessions are other opportunities to wreck your bike and trash your tyres.
Also love the atmosphere of the roads paddocks. Prefer to be in the paddock with my family having a beer than anywhere else really.”
Q4: TT, North West 200 or Ulster Grand Prix?
“The TT I would have to say. Even though it’s not a mass start it’s still the pinnacle of road racing and the one everyone wants to win. Done the Manx on the same circuit (Mountain Course) and hope to have a crack at the TT itself this year.”
Q5: Most Respected Rival?
“I respect all riders who do the roads. Everyone knows how quick it could go wrong, so I respect everyone out there for doing it.
I admire all the top riders for the things they can do on a bike, but I also admire the lads who are turning up straight from work on a Friday evening and straight back in on Monday to pay for it all, out of their own pocket.”
Q6: Best roads moment thus far?
“Best moment must be winning the Junior support race at the Southern 100, on my first visit to Billown.
Great race with James Neesom, we were racing in the rookies class with the Auto 66 Club together when we both started out racing. The race at Billown between us went right down to the flag with some close passing but was all above board.”
Q7: Is their one place or country in the world, where you would like to see a roads meeting held?
“It would be great to see more road racing on the UK mainland. Most people name their own town or area but I would happily go anywhere for a road race on the mainland. Suppose one through London would get a good crowd.”
Q8: Who’s your road racing hero?
“Road racing hero would have to be I think Bruce Anstey, just for his attitude towards racing. Never big’s himself up, not seeking publicity, seems to just enjoy riding bikes and is pretty good at it.”
Q9: Supersport or Superbike?
“Only rode a stock 600 so far. Having a Supersport 600 would be nice for the faster road races, where top end speed really comes into play.
After seeing the riders faces after the first Superbike/Superstock practice session at the North West 200, think I would have to say Superstock 1000’s are the most appealing class to myself.
There so good now and so close to the Superbikes. Engines are bullet proof and electronics are good enough that nearly everyone has the traction etc turned on. Definitely need to do a season on a Superstock 1000 before I stop racing.”
Q10: Pole position or fastest lap?
“Has to be fastest lap. As soon as I get in front in a race I’m not sure how fast to go, and end up slowing down, so starting at the front I would go only one way to start with.”
Words by Stevie Rial