3:30pm Thursday 24th April 2014
HALESOWEN'S Bradley Hughes had a mixed bag of results as he made his debut in the 2014 British Supersport Championship Evo class.
Although unable to start the first race at Brands Hatch on Sunday he went on to claim eighth place in race two on Monday.
The British Supersport Championship is split into two classes for 2014 with the new Evo class open to new riders aspiring to move into the Supersport class but at less cost. The Evo riders have their own championship and only score points in their own class, although they race within the main Supersport race.
Qualifying didn't go to plan for Bradley as it was his first time out in wet conditions. The track was treacherous and many riders crashed during the session. Bradley completed eight laps without incident but he was caught out by the slippery conditions along Cooper straight and crashed heavily though luckily without injury.
However, a broken chain cause considerable damage to the bike. With just a few hours before the first contest it was a race against time to get the bike up and running, but the team worked hard and he made it in time for the start with half an hour to spare.
Making his debut in the British Supersport Evo championship, Bradley was to begin his campaign from an eighth row grid position, but on the sighting lap it was discovered that the bike had an oil leak which caused him to retire without getting under starters orders.
He said: "The bike took quite a bit of damage in the crash but we thought we had sorted it. We went to scrutineering and got through that with no problem but we had all missed the oil leak so I had no alternative to pull out of the race. Its disappointing but safety has to come first."
With the oil leak sorted, Bradley took his place on the grid for the start of the feature race on Monday. Due to being unable to register a time in the first race Bradley was placed at the back of the grid with a lot of work to do to catch up the midfielders.
As the race got underway he moved straight up into 27th place behind a large group of riders all disputing a top 20 position. The race was being run on the short Indy circuit and with very few passing places Bradley took his time to move up the field. He was circulating in 23rd place during the final few laps but made a pass stick on the final lap to cross the finish line in an overall position of 22nd. He was the eighth Evo rider to finish and scored eight championship points for his efforts.
The next round is at Oulton Park in Cheshire over the May Day Bank Holiday of May 5. Bradley will be hoping for better weather and two strong finishes to his races to boost his points tally.
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